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Why, when, and where do older people die? 

Why, when, and where do older people die?
Chapter:
Why, when, and where do older people die?
Author(s):

Elizabeth H. Prsic

and Joan M. Teno

DOI:
10.1093/med/9780198701590.003.0154
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date: 19 August 2019

The demographics of death among older persons have changed markedly over the past century. Individuals are living longer, but gains in life expectancy differ significantly between low-, middle-, and high-income countries. While individuals would previously succumb to infectious disease after a brief illness, older persons often suffer long periods of morbidity at the end of life in the setting of chronic, non-communicable diseases. With increased care needs at the end of life, older persons are more likely to die in an institutional setting, despite preferences for death at home. While site of death has been proposed as a quality metric, it captures only one aspect of the trajectory of end-of-life care. This chapter explores various aspects of death among older persons, and places the subject in a larger geographic, medical, and socioeconomic context.

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