Palliative and end of life care for people living with dementia in care homes: part 1
CPD    

Palliative and end of life care for people living with dementia in care homes: part 1

Gary Mitchell Resident experience care specialist, Four Seasons Health Care, Irish Regional Office, Belfast, Northern Ireland.
Joanne Agnelli Resident experience support manager, Four Seasons Health Care, Northern Ireland.
Jessie McGreevy Deputy nurse manager, Silverbirch Lodge Nursing Home, Northern Ireland.
Monica Diamond Resident experience care specialist, Four Seasons Health Care, Northern Ireland.
Herlindina Roble Home manager, Leabank Nursing Home, Northern Ireland.
Elaine McShane Resident experience support manager, Four Seasons Health Care, Northern Ireland.
Joanne Strain Head of nursing, Four Seasons Health Care, United Kingdom.

The terms palliative and end of life care are often used interchangeably and healthcare practitioners may perceive that palliative care is only appropriate during the terminal stages of an illness. This article, the first of two parts, provides healthcare practitioners with an overview of the concept of palliative care. It explains how this can be differentiated from end of life care and how it should be commenced in a timely manner, so that people who are living with dementia can contribute to the planning of their future care and their death. The policies and tools used in the provision of palliative and end of life care are discussed, including advance care planning and The Gold Standards Framework. The article is framed in a care home context; there is little research about how to optimise palliative care for people living with dementia in care homes. The second part of this article will discuss end of life care and the best practices for providing end of life care, including nutrition and hydration, oral hygiene, pain management and spiritual care.

Nursing Standard. doi: 10.7748/ns.2016.e10099

Peer review

All articles are subject to external double-blind peer review and checked for plagiarism using automated software.

Received: 26 April 2015

Accepted: 21 July 2016

Published online: 12 June 2016