Palliative Care for Older People


Together with children and their families, the Maruzza Foundation is particularly sensitive to the palliative care needs of older people; populations in Europe are ageing and more and more people are dying at older ages from multiple conditions without access to adequate palliative care and pain management.

Meeting the needs of these citizens represents a major healthcare challenge for future governments.

Palliative care for older people: better practices

In 2011 World Health Organization (WHO), with the support of the Maruzza Foundation, published the booklet “Palliative Care for Older People: Better Practices” targeting policy- and decision-makers with recommendations for developing health care policies, clinical/research initiatives and educational programs aimed at improving and widening access to palliative care to include older generations dying from multiple diseases other than cancer. This initiative, led by Prof. Irene Higginson, Head of Palliative Care at King’s College London, and a steering committee of 15 international palliative care experts, was approved as an EAPC Taskforce project.

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Better Palliative Care for Older People

In 2012, the Maruzza Foundation launched the “Palliative Care for Older People” project bringing together experts from the largest professional associations in the fields of geriatric and palliative medicine in Europe: the European Union Geriatric Medicine Society (EUGMS) and the European Association of Palliative Care (EAPC), to develop strategies for the integration of palliative care principles to geriatric healthcare programs.
On September 25th, 2012, at the European Parliament Building in Brussels, during an event organised by the Maruzza Foundation, a joint manifesto “Palliative Care for older people in the European Union” calling upon governments and institutions to ensure that every older citizen with chronic disease is offered the best possible palliative care approach possible was presented to MEPs. This document will be the basis of an ‘action plan’ for the integration of patient-centred palliative care for older generations into national healthcare policies throughout Europe.

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