Palliative care and end-of-life issues for people with dementia are pertinent areas for research, policy and practice in dementia care. The Alzheimer Society of Ireland (ASI) is the national leader in understanding and providing dementia-specific supports and services, including the development of palliative care for people with dementia.
‘Opening Conversations’ was a small-scale qualitative research project aimed at developing a model of best-practice palliative care interventions for people with dementia in order to integrate palliative care interventions into ASI service planning. It also aimed to deepen an understanding of what palliative care means within the context of dementia care, as well as understanding the specific end-of-life issues for people with dementia, their carers and ASI and other service providers.
This research proposes a model of dementia palliative care based on the understanding that the provision of good-quality end-of-life care for people with dementia and their families begins at the time of diagnosis and is not confined to the end stage of the illness or to the period in which the person with dementia is actively dying.