Dementia Awareness Week: Seeing dementia through a palliative lens
Dementia is a syndrome, caused by several diseases of the brain.
1 in 3 people aged 65 and over will die either with a dementia or from dementia. 100,000 people with dementia die each year and this is set to rise by 17% by 2030. We know 56% of people with dementia die in hospitals and 20% in care homes.
Our Admiral Nurse, Sharron Tolman said: “Reaching out to people who may be within the last year or so of life can help shift goals of care and thinking towards palliation, reducing distress and maximising comfort. Distressing behaviours can be an indication of unmet need and will have value, even if it does not make sense to us.
“Reaction to pain can be high when we don’t understand what is happening around us. When people can no longer tell us who they are or were and depend on others to care for them, a palliative approach considers the ‘whole person’, their spiritual, emotional, social and physical needs.
“Seeing dementia through a palliative lens also gives families time to prepare, think ahead and begin conversations with their healthcare professionals about what is important for them and where the person they care for may wish to die.”