End-of-life care for older adults with dementia living in group homes in Japan

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Abstract

Aim

The aim of this study was to elucidate the components of end-of-life care provided to older adults with dementia who live in group homes (GHs) in Japan.

Introduction

The number of GHs in Japan is rapidly increasing. Although GHs were originally not established to care for elderly people with advanced-stage dementia, many residents remain in the GH even after their stage of dementia advances; thus, end-of-life care is required.

Methods

Interviews were conducted with seven GH administrators on their experience in providing end-of-life care to their residents. The constant comparative approach was used for data collection and analysis.

Findings

Four themes emerged as essential components of end-of-life care in the GH setting: (i) maintaining a familiar lifestyle; (ii) minimizing physical and mental discomfort; (iii) proactively utilizing desirable medical care; and (iv) collaborating with family members.

Conclusion

The combination of the four components seems to be a unique characteristic of end-of-life care in GHs in Japan. These findings may be used to establish a framework for end-of-life care at GHs.

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