UNAIR Researchers Find Barriers to Palliative Care for Elderly

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Illustration by Feri Fenoria

UNAIR NEWS – Every individual has the right to a decent life, including the elderly who live in nursing homes. Residents of the orphanage spend their time to die with all its limitations. At the end of their lives, they tend to have complex problems and have multiple disabilities, such as being unable to walk and deaf. These conditions can become obstacles for the professionals they care for.

Palliative care has only been known for cancer sufferers, even though the WHO says palliative care is also given to chronic diseases and vulnerability due to old age that cannot be treated. In Indonesia, palliative care has been regulated in the Decree of the Minister of Health of the Republic of Indonesia, No. 812 / Menkes / SK / VII / 2007, although in its implementation palliative services in Indonesia are still in the initial stages. Meanwhile, palliative care is still limited to hospitals, health centers, certain home visiting services in certain areas.

“Nursing homes in Indonesia still do not offer palliative care in their services. Exploration of this issue is fascinating and this research was conducted to explore the obstacles experienced by nurses, “said Rista Fauziningtyas, S.Kep.Ns., M.Kep., One of the lecturers at the Faculty of Nursing UNAIR.

The results of the research found that barriers felt by the nurse in providing excellent and effective palliative care for the elderly in nursing homes are limited nurse’s knowledge, ineffective communication and limited drug resources and doctors. The strategy used to overcome these obstacles is to seek knowledge from the internet and discuss with lecturers or senior nurses.

“The communication barrier felt by the nurse was due to hearing loss due to the aging process, the inability of the elderly to communicate due to the disease process and the language differences between nurses and nursing home residents,” said Rista.

The strategy taken by the nurse to overcome this is to replace communication methods. The way of communication must be adapted to the needs of the elderly. Communication becomes essential in carrying out palliative care in the elderly.

Palliative services can be implemented effectively in the elderly in nursing homes. Better and clearer policies from the government are needed to help health workers improve themselves. Adequate facilities and equipment are also urgently needed. Education and training for nurses are also very necessary. Palliative care and subjects related to end of life must be integrated into nursing education from the diploma level.

“The government plays an important role in the distribution of health workers who have adequate competence, especially in nursing homes. Health workers who have expertise in palliative care are needed not only in big cities but also throughout Indonesia, “concluded Rista. (*)

Author: Sukma Cindra Pratiwi

Editor : Khefti Al Mawalia



Retno Indarwati, Rista Fauziningtyas, Gilang Dwi Kuncahyo, Rr Dian Tristiana, Chong Mei Chan, and Graeme D. Smith. 2019. “Palliative and end-of-life care’s barriers for older adults”. Working With Older People.

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