Discussing end-of-life care with people with dementia: a word of caution

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This article explores the complexities of discussing end-of-life care with people with dementia. Twelve people with dementia were interviewed to complete values histories. During the interviews participants were asked to describe their feelings and values related to the end their lives. A minority appreciated the opportunity to discuss their feelings, while others were evasive and one was frightened, indicating they did not want to pursue the topic further. Many had no strong views, choosing to leave future decisions up to medical staff or thought they could decide in the future, indicating a lack of awareness of the prognosis. A practice reflection, describing issues of potential benefit to practitioners undertaking similar therapeutic engagement, is included.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)14-17
Number of pages4
JournalMental Health Nursing
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2011
Externally publishedYes


  • Dementia
  • end-of-life care,
  • Integrated Care
  • Pathway


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