End of life care: achieving dignity for those with dementia

What is the video about?

This film illustrates the steps involved in supporting a person with dementia to die well, through the experience of Mairead Smart and her family. It is crucial to recognise when a person with dementia enters the final weeks and days of their life and to respond with support that avoids unnecessary interventions and reflects the wishes of the individual and their family. Person centred care, advance care planning, the Gold Standards Framework can all help care staff to deliver good dementia care and good end of life care.

Messages for practice

  1. People with dementia need support to die well, where and how they wish.
  2. Care staff need the knowledge and skills to provide good dementia care and good end of life care.
  3. Recognising the signs of end of life and avoiding unnecessary interventions is important.
  4. Advance care planning can help make sure the individuals’ wishes are respected at a time when they may not be able to express them.
  5. The Gold Standards Framework helps care staff look holistically at the needs of the person and their family.
  6. The video provides an outline of best practice in care during the final days and hours of a person’s life.
  7. The reassurance that someone will be helped to die well with dementia is an important aspect of living well with dementia for both the person and their family.

Who will find this useful?

All care staff supporting people with dementia; staff in palliative care services; social workers; GPs and other health professionals; people with dementia and carers; commissioners and regulators.