Planning for end-of-life care for dementia
Planning for end-of-life care for those with dementia: what families need to know
Dementia is a debilitating condition that affects millions of people around the world, and unfortunately, as the disease progresses, end-of-life care will become necessary. It is never an easy topic to discuss, but planning for end-of-life care is critical for those with dementia and their families. However, it can be overwhelming to determine what steps to take, which options to pursue, and how to make the right decisions. In this blog post, we aim to provide some guidance on what families should know when planning end-of-life care for someone with dementia.
Understand the progression of the disease
Every type of dementia progresses differently, and understanding the stages of the disease is crucial when planning end-of-life care. As dementia progresses, the client’s needs change and they may require additional support and attention. While planning for end-of-life care, families should consider the various stages of dementia and how they will affect the person’s needs.
Choose the right care
provider and location
End-of-life care for dementia clients can involve different kinds of support, such as in-home care, hospice care, or palliative care. In-home care allows the person to remain in the familiar surroundings of their home, while hospice care focuses on providing comfort and support in the final stages of life in a specialist environment. Palliative care is designed to improve the quality of life for the person and their family and is not necessarily location specific. Choosing the right care location and provider is an essential aspect of end-of-life care planning.
Document your loved
It’s vital to articulate your loved one’s wishes regarding end-of-life care as early as possible. Advanced directives or living wills and enduring power of attorney for health issues, are legal documents that outline the person’s medical preferences regarding life-sustaining treatment, organ donation, resuscitation, and other medical procedures. Discussing your loved one’s preferences keeps everyone on the same page and afford the peace of mind that their wishes will be respected.
Understand the importance of emotional and psychological support
End-of-life care for those with dementia is not just about physical needs but also emotional and psychological needs. It is critical to ensure that the person with dementia feels comfortable, secure, and loved in their final weeks and days. Support from family members, friends, and professional carers can help alleviate any fear or anxiety that the person may have. Accessing psychological support is crucial for families dealing with the end-of-life care scenario, as carers may also need help processing their feelings and loss.
Make legal and financial arrangements
Planning and paying for end-of-life care can be an expensive affair, so it’s important to figure out the financial side of things as early as possible. Preparing legal documents such as power of attorney or wills allow families to make decisions on behalf of their loved ones if necessary. Families must work to ensure that bills associated with end-of-life care aren’t left for someone else to deal with, since doing so can be stressful and can cause damage to future relationships.
Planning for end-of-life care for those with dementia is an emotional and challenging time for everyone involved. As the disease progresses, it’s increasingly important to ensure that the person and their family are comfortable and secure. The various tips we’ve shared in this blog can make end-of-life planning less daunting and more manageable. They will ensure that end-of-life care can be provided in a way that is respectful and dignified for all involved. If you’d like to discuss this difficult topic with an expert, 0208 857 7717.