Contextualizing end-of-life care for ageing veterans: family members’ thoughts


This article considers how quality improvements in long-term care can be made in a care facility for service veterans by enhancing knowledge and skills about patients who served as Canadian war veterans.



Family members are integral partners in care in a long-term care facility that serves Canadian war veterans. Accordingly, when end-of-life care (a loosely defined concept focused on the end-stages of life for elderly, chronically ill facility residents) was targeted as a strategic priority for continuous quality improvement, family members were invited to contribute their perspectives through focus groups. Two facilitated sessions were attended by eight spouses and daughters of facility residents. Familiar themes—impact on family, ongoing care issues, end-of-life care issues, where to die, and bereavement—were represented in the discussions, nuanced by the unique context of long-term care residency and veteran status. The findings highlight the importance of adapting generic palliative care recommendations to distinct service environments and cohorts for implementation.

Full Reference

Gibson, M., & Gorman, E. (2010) Contextualizing end-of-life care for ageing veterans: family members’ thoughts. International Journal of Palliative Nursing, July 2010, 16:7, 339-343.