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Broadening End-of-Life Comfort to Improve Palliative Care Practices in Long Term Care.

ABSTRACT

This study aimed to (1) explore how palliative care in long-term care (LTC) addresses the tensions associated with caring for the living and dying within one care community, and (2) to inform how palliative care practices may be improved to better address the needs of all residents living and dying in LTC as well as those of the families and support staff. This article reports findings from 19 focus groups and 117 participants. Study findings reveal that LTC home staff, resident, and family perspectives of end-of-life comfort applied to those who were actively dying and to their families. Our findings further suggest that eliciting residents' perceptions of end-of-life comfort, sharing information about a fellow resident's death more personally, and ensuring that residents, families, and staff can constructively participate in providing comfort care to dying residents could extend the purview of end-of-life comfort and support expanded integration of palliative principles within LTC.