Advanced dementia and end-of-life care
This section looks at supporting people with dementia. It discusses the physical environment whether it be at home or a care home and decision making.
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'Advanced dementia' refers to the later stages of dementia, where a person's loss of physical and cognitive functioning is widespread.Some people with dementia find it hard to communicate but there are ways to support meaningful interactions. In advanced dementia, the challenge is how communicate when the person has little or no speech, touch can provide reassurance. There is much that caregivers can do to support people with advanced dementia.
What does end of life care mean in the case of dementia? Pain in advanced dementia is a common symptom. However it is often poorly recognised and undertreated, and yet it is not difficult to treat. Towards the end of life, a person with dementia may take in very little food and fluids, which may make family carers worry that the person is starving to death, when in fact they are not. End of life care decisions are not easy for carers.