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.

End-of-Life Care, Pain Medicine, Palliative Care

What actually is palliative care? And how is it different to end-of-life care?

Palliative care is not voluntary assisted dying. It does not aim to hasten or prolong death. It is not just for people who are about to die and seeking palliative care does not mean “giving up”. In fact, it can be a profound and positive form of care that the World Health Organization (WHO) has recognised as a basic human right. But what does it involve?