Dementia, End-of-Life Care

Hospice care for those with dementia falls far short of meeting people’s needs at the end of life

Strikingly, only 12% of Americans with dementia ever enroll in hospice. Among those who do, one-third are near death. This is in stark contrast to the cancer population: Patients over 60 with cancer enroll in hospice 70% of the time. In my experience caring for dementia patients, the underuse of hospice by dementia patients has more to do with how hospice is structured and paid for in the U.S. than it does patient preference or differences between cancer and dementia.

Aging, Brain and Nervous System, Dementia, Prevention

Lifestyle changes can reduce dementia risk by maintaining brain plasticity — but the time to act is now

There are several new drugs making their way to the market for Alzheimer’s disease (one of the most common forms of dementia). However, they are still far from a cure and are currently only effective for early-stage Alzheimer’s patients. So lifestyle changes may be our best hope of delaying dementia or not developing dementia at all.

Illustration of a nurse helping an older woman with a cane.
Aging, Brain and Nervous System, Dementia, Diet

Aging with a healthy brain: How lifestyle changes could help prevent up to 40% of dementia cases

By adopting positive lifestyle habits, we could theoretically prevent about 40 per cent of dementias. While there is no guarantee of warding off cognitive decline, people can greatly reduce their risk of dementia by increasing their physical activity levels, ensuring they are mentally active and increasing social contact, while avoiding smoking and limiting alcohol consumption.