End of life care: Nutrition and hydration

CPD hours:

Nutrition and hydration have the potential to influence physical symptoms, pain, quality of life, and comfort for patients and families. Palliative care is not restricted to the last months and days of life. It is an ongoing process that at times may be used in conjunction with curative treatments. It often commences at the time of diagnosis of a terminal illness. Whilst nutritional advice and support is an essential part of palliative care, discussions about end of life nutrition are focused on the last days and hours of life and this module is focused on end of life nutrition.

This module discusses effective end of life care and how consideration of nutrition and hydration should always be included. It discusses the types of nutrition and hydration that may be provided at the end of life, and the adverse effects associated with the provision of nutrition and hydration at the end of life.

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At the end of this module participants will be able to:

  • Have a broad understanding of the role nutrition has in palliative care planning.
  • Know the main types of nutrition that can be provided.
  • Understand the main benefits and disadvantages of providing nutrition at the end of life.

At the end of this module participants will be able to:

  • This is learning objective 1.
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