Chapter 48: End-of-Life Issues
End-of-life issues The aim of this chapter is to analyze key themes concerning the end of life in old age and to consider how these can contribute to gerontological knowledge. Drawing on international data, trends in mortality are identified, including age at death, causes of death, and place of death. These trends are analyzed for their significance for understanding the social conditions of ageing and dying. Secondly, themes from the study of death and dying are considered in relation to ageing, with a particular focus on what is understood by a ‘good death’ and how age influences this understanding. Thirdly, a discussion of issues in end-of-life care and support for older people considers the interrelationship between the social status of older people and the circumstances in which they die. The chapter focuses on the complex and interconnected factors that shape the end-of-life course in old age. Socioeconomic and geopolitical structures, ...