Terminal Care for Nursing Home Residents with Dementia

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A national survey of 400 nursing homes focused on the rarely explored topic of terminal care for residents with Alzheimer's disease. Although respondents emphasize the salience of care that keeps the resident comfortable, most were not highly confident in their ability to read and understand pain experiences of end-stage dementia residents, and many expressed problems managing pain control with these terminal residents. While best and least good practices emphasized that staff treats residents like family, the low priority on providing support for surviving residents and caregiving staff was emphasized. Findings provide a challenge to nursing homes to acknowledge the need to be proactive in relation to residents, family, and staff around end-of-life issues.

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