End-of-Life Care Decisions for Patients with Dementia
WellStar School of Nursing
Introduction: An estimated 50 million people worldwide live with dementia and nearly 10 million new cases every year have been reported. As a chronic illness, dementia in- volves the gradual loss of cognitive functions and behavioral abilities. As people with dementia reach end-of-life, planning for future medical care is of utmost importance as they face this life-limiting condition.
Clinical Goal/Clinical Problem: In this case report, the end-of-life disease trajectory, advance care planning, decision-making, and ethical considerations of a person living with advanced dementia are explored. Assessment: The clinical triggers in the case are the progression of the disease, advance care planning, and surrogate decision making.
Implementation: Recognizing deteriorating conditions, assessing the patient’s end-of- life wishes and the surrogate decision maker’s knowledge about the disease, and com- munication with patients and families about treatment choices are necessary to improve end-of-life care for a person with dementia coupled with the need to overcome ethical challenges influencing the preservation of one’s autonomy, respect, and dignity.
Evaluation and Discussion: Early and ongoing conversations are necessary between patients, families, and healthcare professionals to ascertain preferences for end-of-life care.
Journal of Nursing Practice Applications & Reviews of Research
ISSN 2329-4760 (Print) ISSN 2329-4779 (Online)
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)