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Physical Care




  • Necessary and unnecessary medications are explained
  • Pain Management is discussed in depth
  • Essential physical care topics such as hygiene, continence, mouth and skin care are explained
  • Case studies are provided to highlight each point raised
  • Importance of nutrition and hydration in terms of the person's best interests are discussed
  • Causes and aids to issues such as fatigue, dysphagia, dyspnoea, nausea and vomiting are explained

This chapter discusses the common physical signs and symptoms of older persons who are dying. It looks at various types of patients from those who find the dying process to be gentle deterioration with no distressing symptoms to others who find it accompanied by varying degrees of discomfort and how they should be cared for. Also discussed are the aged care staff's responsibilities of undertaking continuous assessment, reporting and documentation of signs and symptoms by careful observation.


Contents include

  • Introduction
  • Medications
    • Family meetings
    • Necessary and unnecessary medications
    • Regular and frequent reviews
  • Pain management
    • A collaborative approach
    • Assessment
    • Consent
    • Route of administration
    • Use of opioids
    • Incident pain
    • Education
    • Non-physical causes of pain
  • Hygiene and grooming
  • Continence care
  • Constipation
  • Mobility, skin care, and positioning
  • Mouth care
  • Nutrition and hydration
    • Social significance of food and drink
    • End-of-life choices
    • Tube-feeding
    • Weight loss
    • Acting in the person's best interests
  • Fatigue
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Dysphagia
  • Dyspnoea
  • Documentation
  • Support
  • Conclusion
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Author / Editor Biographies

Aged Care Palliative Care Consultant, RN, Dip Arts, B App Sci (adv.nsg) Grad Dip Geront. Nsg, B Theol, M Theol, PhD,FRCNA, FAAG
Dr Rosalie Hudson's varied nursing career is focused on aged care, dementia care and palliative care. As a consultant nurse educator, with qualifications in theology, she explores end-of-life issues for older people; as an author, teacher and associate professor with the University of Melbourne, she seeks to raise the profile of gerontic nursing. Rosalie has had twelve years of experience as a director of nursing of a 50-bed nursing home, as well as extensive experience in community nursing practice.
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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