Hospice Care for Patients With Advanced Progressive Dementia
(Springer Series on Ethics, Law and Aging)

Ladislav Volicer, Ann Hurley (Editors)

Synopsis

We hope more persons with dementia receive palliative care. Currently, there is no cure for the progressive dementias and the afflicted person can live for 2 - 20 years (average is 8). In the early stage, some drugs may temper the cognitive and behavioral symptoms and non pharmacological interventions can improve quality of life for the patient, so a chronic illness model is appropriate to guide care. As the disease worsens, persons become completely dependent on caregivers, complications develop, and about 90% of persons with advanced dementia will ultimately die from pneumonia. Since the underlying dementia is not curable, the risks and benefits of providing agressive medical therapeutics that will not slow the progression of the disease need to be weighed. In the advanced stage, palliative care is appropriate. In any setting where care is provided, we hope that readers of this book will make palliative care options available to persons with advanced dementia.
The author, Ann Hurley

 

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