Identifying palliative care needs in people with dementia

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Purpose of reviewDementia is now recognized as a progressive life-limiting illness where many patients can benefit from access to palliative care.Recent findingsThe present review has focused on three areas namely, advanced care planning in supporting palliative care for dementia, hospice provision for people with dementia and provision of care within family home. In advanced care planning, there is little research on systematically developed and implemented advance care planning interventions or whether they achieve desired outcomes for end-of-life care. There is limited research on hospice-based care for patients with dementia and most studies are U.S. based. Equally studies exploring how family carers can be supported and facilitated to care at home for the person with dementia to the end of life are exploratory rather than determining what factors may be important.SummaryThere are relatively few studies, especially quantitative studies or intervention studies being carried out to determine most effective means of providing palliative care for people with dementia, particularly with respect to advanced care planning, the provision of hospice-based care and support at home. Despite increased public awareness of dementia as a terminal illness, more research is required to support patients with dementia and their families at the end of life.

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