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Nutrition and Hydration

As a person approaches the final stages of life, there can sometimes be a view that there is no need to address nutritional and hydration needs in any comprehensive way. In this chapter, it is assumed that nutritional care is being given to alleviate symptoms and not to prolong life. Nutritional and hydration decisions are usually taken to satisfy daily comfort needs. Even if a person has limited life expectancy as a result of a terminal or chronic illness, people can, and do, access the support of palliative care services at various stages of their illnesses. It should not be assumed that everyone receiving palliative care is necessarily nearing death.

Contents include

  • The food ritual
  • Prevalence and causes of malnutrition
  • Assessment
  • Advice and management
  • Advanced directives and medical treatment acts
  • The dying process: management dilemmas
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Author / Editor Biographies

RN, BA, BSocSci, GradDip BusMgt and MN.
Katrina Recoche is a Lecturer and a Member of the Palliative Care Research Team in the School of Nursing & Midwifery, Monash University. She is also a member of Palliative Care Nurses Australia. Katrina is experienced in community-based and inpatient palliative care services in a variety of roles. Her current research interests include paramedics' experiences of working with clients with palliative care needs, palliative care for homeless people and strategies to improve the management of chronic disease for homeless and disenfranchised people.
Palliative Care
Professor Margaret O’Connor is the inaugural Professor of Nursing at Swinburne University in Melbourne. Prior to this she was the Vivian Bullwinkel Chair in Palliative Care Nursing at Monash University, where she established and led a successful Palliative Care Research Team. Margaret’s research has been widely published, concentrating on models of palliative care , issues of culture and the end of life needs of particular population groups. From 2006 to 2011 Margaret served as the President of Palliative Care Australia and in 2005 she was made a member of the Order of Australia for h...

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