Gerontological Advance Practice Nurses: As End-of-Life Care Facilitators

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Gerontological advance practice nurses (GAPNs) are ideal providers to assist elderly patients with advanced chronic illness and their families as they experience the final phase of life. The goal of this individualized process is for the patient to experience a “good death”—one that is comfortable and self-determined. This article proposes a model in which the GAPN offers 5 essential services in caring for the patient and family based on their needs and on the principles of end-of-life (EOL) care: 1) assessment of the living situation; 2) symptom management and enhancement of quality of life; 3) advance care planning (ACP); 4) patient and family counseling (emotional, social, spiritual); and 5) continuity, communication, and coordination of care.

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