• To recognise that people living with advanced dementia should be offered early palliative and end of life care that aligns with best practice
• To acknowledge the importance of early conversations with the person and family during diagnosis, and as dementia progresses, to support understanding and action planning for the advanced condition and end of life
• To identify the need for accurate assessment of and response to pain in palliative and end of life care for people with dementia
Despite growing understanding in recent years of the biological, psychological, social, environmental and spiritual aspects of dementia, people with advanced dementia continue to experience inequalities in accessing healthcare capable of improving their lives. The complexities of advanced dementia challenge professional competence and demand the highest level of skilled, compassionate care.
This article, the last in a series on living with advanced dementia, considers the status and direction of palliative care as it applies to people with dementia and explores contemporary issues regarding advanced dementia and end of life, with a focus on guidance for practitioners and support for best practice. It identifies that open communication, clear information and a person-centred approach adopted as early as possible in the syndrome can make this period less distressing. Crucially, people at the end of life should be offered care in line with best practice in palliative and end of life approaches.
Nursing Older People. doi: 10.7748/nop.2020.e1191Peer review
This article has been subject to external double-blind peer review and has been checked for plagiarism using automated softwareCorrespondence
Sharp B, Henderson J, Brown M et al (2020) Palliative and end of life care for people with advanced dementia. Nursing Older People. doi: 10.7748/nop.2020.e1191
Published online: 09 December 2020
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