This chapter first considers the challenges of end of life care in late old age. It then introduces the concept of ‘frailty’ in older people and the importance of acknowledging dying in old age as a more natural event than dying from cancer or other diseases earlier in the life course. It explores the concept of ‘natural dying’ in the Fourth Age as both an opportunity and a challenge: an opportunity to maximize and learn from the capacity of those living and dying in late old age; a challenge to the current professionalization of death and dying within the developed world, where the focus is on medicalized and ‘abnormal’ death in the very frail older people. Finally, the chapter looks at care homes as a place where older people live and die. It sets out the important role care homes now have in framing end of life care, the demands that beset them, and the aspiration that care homes could be significant in challenging society's taboo of death.
|Title of host publication||Death, Dying and Social Differences|
|Editors||Sheila Payne, Barbara Monroe, David Oliviere|
|Publisher||Oxford University Press|
|Number of pages||268|
|Publication status||Published - 2011|