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Care at the end of life

Susan Martin outlines the challenges involved in advance care planning for care home residents with dementia.

Susan Martin outlines the challenges involved in advance care planning for care home residents with dementia.

It is increasingly being recognised that the end of life care needs of care home residents with dementia are not always met (Department of Health 2010, Leadership Alliance for the Care of Dying People 2014). However, care home staff face many challenges in providing residents with a high-quality service. Although many healthcare professionals are beginning to think of dementia as a terminal illness, the general population does not.

Early diagnosis and living well with dementia are emphasised, but access to information about the course of the disease and its implications for end of life care is limited for patients and their significant others. As a result, there can be unrealistic expectations about treatment and care goals for people in the advanced stages of the disease.

If living well with dementia is

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