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End Of Life Care For Dementia Patients: All You Need To Know

Even though it may be distressing to consider, having important conversations with the elderly loved one with dementia and planning ahead might improve their end-of-life experience.

Planning For End Of Life Care

When a person with dementia is nearing the end of their life, it can be a challenging time for them and their loved ones. However, there are steps you can take to assist them.

You may likely interact with a variety of health and social care professionals during this time. Effective communication between all parties involved in providing end-of-life care will be of great assistance.

Why Is It Important

You may find it difficult to consider or discuss death, and you may find some of this information disturbing. But having these essential discussions with your senior loved one and planning can improve their end-of-life experience. It can also benefit you and others who are close to them.

Planning for the end of life is essential for anyone with a life-limiting condition. It is crucial for a person with dementia to have these conversations as soon as possible while it is still possible to make joint decisions. However, many individuals do not feel prepared to consider death in advance. In this instance, having a general understanding of the individual's values, desires, and beliefs can aid in making decisions on their behalf.

How Does End Of Life Care Support An Elderly With Dementia

End-of-life care should help the patient live as comfortably as possible until death, including:

  • Bodily needs, such as pain alleviation and control of other ailments
  • Emotional needs, such as coping with discomfort 
  • Relationships with others, including who they would and would not like to be with
  • Environmental needs, which include their settings and community
  • Cultural, spiritual, and religious beliefs and practices

Everyone supporting the elderly (including care professionals) must apply their understanding, and any advance care planning made by the senior loved one with dementia.

For many people, "dying well" associates:

  • Being handled with kindness and consideration 
  • Being kept clean, comfortable, and free of disturbing symptoms
  • Being in a familiar environment surrounded by close friends and family

For example, conversing with your loved one, stroking their hair, or holding their hand can be really beneficial. Such connections can help you become close and provide them with the necessary emotional support.

To find out about long-term care options for dementia patients, check out this article by Senior Strong.

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