Research focus

Advance care planning for nursing home residents with dementia: policy vs. practice

Despite the potential benefits of ACP for nursing home residents with dementia, the authors of this study highlight that hardly any research has focused on the involvement of residents/families in ACP and that ACP is rarely realised for these people. Their research aimed to evaluate the ACP policy for people with dementia in nursing homes and to gain insight into the involvement of residents with dementia and their families in ACP.

Advance care planning (ACP) provides a framework for discussing and documenting care preferences in preparation for situations in which a person loses the cognitive capacity to make decisions.

Picture credit: Alamy

It can be particularly valuable in assisting people in the early stages of living with a dementia, supported by their families, to document their preferences for care at the later stages of their illness. While the potential benefits of ACP are widely acknowledged, there remain gaps in the research evidence on ACP and challenges in implementing ACP in practice. The recently-published study described below address these issues.

Ampe S , Sevenants A , Smets T et al ( 2016 ) Advance care planning for nursing home residents with dementia: policy vs. practice . Journal of Advanced Nursing . 72, 3, 569 - 581

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