Palliative and end-of-life care

This stage incorporates the supports involved in planning and providing quality end-of-life care including palliative care services which are provided in a variety of settings (home, including residential aged and disability care facilities and hospitals). Depending on the needs of the person with dementia and their carers, palliative care services may also be involved at other stages of care.

Dementia is a life-threatening illness (incurable) and palliative care can be adopted early, from diagnosis through to ongoing management, dying and death. Palliative care, implemented early, supports and increases the quality of life of people with dementia, enabling them to die with dignity and in a setting of choice.

Key challenges in providing palliative care for people with dementia include accurately assessing and managing pain and managing nutrition and hydration.

Provide patients and family with information that supports.[1]

  • Review of Advance Care Plans and enduring Powers of Attorney if competent
  • Enactment of Advance Care Plans and enduring Powers of Attorney if not competent
  • Carer involvement in planning, decision-making and end-of-life care
  • Person-centred care to support dying with dignity
  • Awareness of bereavement support and counselling services
  • Cultural, religious and spiritual beliefs, practices and activities
  • Timely referral to palliative care services

Please note: All palliative care services across the South Eastern Melbourne region are free to access.

KPMG Dementia services pathways – an essential guide to effective service planning 2011 pg.31