What we know
Dignity and quality of life are important constructs in health as they are useful reminders the importance of addressing social, spiritual, psychological and medical needs of the people in care and being responsive, inclusive and sensitive to personal, cultural and linguistic diversity. Both concepts are reflected in the Aged Care Quality Standards which apply to all Australian aged care services.
Quality of life in palliative care includes the concepts of compassionate care and of dying with dignity. Dignity-supporting or dignity-conserving care comprises a broad range of care activities which include the relief of physical and psychological distress, help in maintaining independence, and the provision of a comfortable and homely environment. Evidence suggests that dignity therapy is beneficial for older people at end of life and for their family and carers.