A new paper published today in the journal Alzheimer’s & Dementia: The Journal of the Alzheimer’s Association found that Accident and Emergency (A&E) attendance among people with dementia in their last year of life is common and increasing.
In recent years, there has been a drop in the number of people with dementia dying in hospital, which has widely been seen as demonstrating better end of life care. However, researchers from the Cicely Saunders Institute, King’s College London, found that over three quarters of people with dementia were seen in A&E in their last year of life.
Some people with dementia do need to be admitted to hospital, but admissions can also lead to deterioration, with an increased risk of infections, bedsores and distress.
Commenting in response, Carole Walford, Chief Clinical Officer, at Hospice UK said:
“This research raises questions about whether people with dementia in their last year of life are getting the support they need. In many cases hospital is not the best environment for people with dementia and can be disruptive and stressful for them.
“There needs to be other options beyond acute care for people with dementia approaching the end of life, including community-based care provided by hospices.
“Hospices are reaching out to more people with dementia, especially in providing person-centred care in their own homes and also by working in partnership with care homes.
“Hospice UK is working with Dementia UK to bring together practitioners and clinical leaders from across all care settings who are keen to build their skills and knowledge in providing high quality palliative and end of life care for people and their families affected by dementia.”
Notes to Editor:
- Hospice UK is the national charity for hospice care and the only membership body for organisations providing hospice care. We support and champion the work of more than 200 of these organisations across the UK.
- Hospices, and other organisations which provide hospice care, offer vital care for people with terminal or life-limiting conditions and also support their families and carers.
- For further information about hospice care visit our website www.hospiceuk.org or follow us on Twitter @hospiceukPA.
- Get all the latest news from the hospice and palliative care sector, as well as patient stories, on ehospice UK at: www.ehospice.com/uk This service is managed by Hospice UK. You can also follow ehospice news on Twitter at @ehospicenews
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