NJ council recommends changes to improve end-of-life care

A state advisory council made immediate and long-term recommendations to improve end-of-life care in New Jersey in a report released Friday and reported on by The Press of Atlantic City.

The New Jersey Governor’s Advisory Council on End-of-Life Care recommended a number of things that can be done to strengthen patient priorities and wishes at the end of life, and avoid unnecessarily care treatments.

“New Jersey patients experience more aggressive care at the end of life without evidence to suggest a corresponding medical benefit,” Health Commissioner Dr. Shereef Elnahal said in a statement.

Emphasis on end-of-life care has become stronger in recent years due to an increasing number of people living with serious illnesses and an aging population, with more people living longer. An aging baby boomer generation leads this trend, which is not expected to slow until at least 2035.

New Jersey ranks ninth in the nation in number of people age 65 or older, according to the report. State officials estimated that senior citizens will make up 20 percent of the state’s population by 2030.

The council, which convened in September 2016 and operated independently under the state Department of Health, met for the past 18 months to review the state’s care practices.

Among the top recommendations outlined in the report: professional training and education on advance care planning, palliative and end-of-life care; community awareness education and outreach; and integration of palliative care and the use of standardized screening tools across the health care system.

Read the full story at The Press of Atlantic City.

Topics: Advocacy , Regulatory Compliance , Uncategorized