End of life care

Dr Donald Macaskill talks about how a person can be supported at the end of life when they are living in a care home. Most care homes have trained staff for this.

Dr Macaskill refers to the Namaste Care Programme which helps when people with advanced dementia become very frail as the brain shuts down and they often find it difficult to communicate or interact with anyone.

Often the care home will ask you about your preferences about a funeral director, even at the time of admission to the care home. That might seem premature, but it is a good way of taking away one more worry when the need arises. A good funeral director ensures the whole process goes smoothly and helps the family with documentation and legal processes. There is more about choosing a funeral director here.

Useful links

The NHS England website has a section on Dementia and end of life planning.

It acknowledges, “It can be difficult and distressing to think about end of life when you may be living well with dementia, with the support of families and friends.”

However, if you are prepared to consider advance statements, advance decisions, and NHS continuing healthcare, these can help you to make sure that things go the way you wish.

  • The team of professionals who may be looking after you include palliative care nurses, your GP, community nurses, care home staff and social care staff. The care home may involve the local hospital’s palliative care team.
  • Some people with dementia are moved to hospital from their care home when they are close to the end of life. Make sure that you or your relatives make it clear whether you would prefer to avoid that, because hospitals may be noisy and busy, and the move is stressful and not always the best option.

There is more about advanced dementia and end of life care here.

Reviewed March 1, 2019