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Quality of Life in Older Adults Receiving Long-Term Services and Supports: Is It What We Think It Is?

Published:December 01, 2015DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jamda.2015.10.014
      Health care is filled with biases and assumptions. Family members, health care providers, even seniors themselves, carry beliefs about aging that affect choices of care, from pain control and end-of-life care decisions to settings and types of support services provided. There tends to be a consistent bias that people with more dependencies have lower quality of life and seniors who live in their own homes are happier than those in other settings of long-term care. Drs Uhlmann and Pearlman
      • Uhlmann R.
      • Pearlman R.
      Perceived quality of life and preferences for life-sustaining treatment in older adults.
      addressed some of these same biases in their 1991 article that investigated quality of life and preferences for life-sustaining treatment. They found that physicians rated patients' global quality of life, physical comfort, depression, and function significantly worse than did the patients themselves. As greater numbers of older persons are facing the need for long-term services and supports (LTSS), and with the national focus to “rebalance” these services out of nursing home settings and back to the community, it is important to understand factors that support the domains that determine health-related quality of life (HRQoL).
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