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Grant awarded for palliative care study

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Torbay Medical Research Fund has part-funded a PHD, exploring what the end of life needs and preferences of older people living in the community are and if they change over time.

The oldest old are more likely to have complex health needs, multiple illnesses and are more likely to spend their final year in poor health than those who die at a younger age. They tend to receive poorer quality care at the end of their lives than younger people; they are less likely to be involved in discussions about their options, less likely to die where they choose and less likely to receive specialist care.

This study aims to develop a better understanding of their care needs, so will look at what the oldest old themselves consider their care needs and preferences to be,  what influences these needs and preferences, how they change over time and where they want to be cared for and die.