End of Life
Palliative care for people living with dementia is a relatively new concept, having been previously restricted to terminal illnesses, such as cancer. In NI the End of Life strategy includes dementia as one of the chronic conditions where palliative and end of life care should be viewed as a continuum of care, as a person’s condition progresses. The limited body of research on approaches to end of life and palliative care for people with dementia reflects the outstanding work needed to marry the fields. This body of literature addresses various aspects of end-of-life care for people with dementia and the articles are based on studies undertaken in diverse care settings: an acute setting, nursing home setting and intellectual disability settings. Three of the eight papers summarised here relate to clinician care, attitudes and decision-making. This is not unsurprising given that many people with dementia will find themselves in an acute setting at the end of their life. A variety of methodological approaches are taken; questionnaires are the most common approach, while one paper documents a literature review and another examines retrospective case studies. Three papers from a study relating to dementia and intellectual disability are included.