Best of both worlds: A Palliative Approach in Dementia Care

Best of both worlds: A Palliative Approach in Dementia Care

Life & Death Matters Post

Janice Robinson from the Broadmead Lodge and I just finished addressing this topic in a webinar for Alzheimer Society of Canada.

Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias are by their diagnosis terminal illnesses.  Over the past few years dementia care and hospice palliative care have turned their lens to quality care for people with late stage dementia.  Integrating a palliative approach in dementia care can make the world of difference to the experience of those living with dementia and their caregivers.

We were delighted to share our experiences in the development of an education program for residential care staff to support people dying with dementia.

We shared ideas for best practice in caring for people with dementia, and the importance of integrating a palliative approach from time of diagnosis or at least – from time of admission to a facility!

To respond to a few questions that came near the end of the webinar:  Yes, a palliative approach can and should be adapted to people with dementia living in the community.  And yes, education on a palliative approach in dementia care is very appropriate for family caregivers and family members.

The PPTs, bibliography and our handout can be accessed now at the CDRAKE website.  The webinar can be viewed after Dec 5th at the same site.

We invite you to comment on this blog or connect with us to continue this dialogue.

Warm regards,

Kath and Janice.


One Response

  1. I so appreciated your November 29th newsletter that arrived today via e-mail. Its timing is uncanny as this Christmas we will be doing one on one visits with our church to several LTC facilities and hoping to bring some joy into the lives of residents who have no family close by. This is also the first Christmas since my mother-in-law died in May and I am also teaching our PSW, Palliative Care module right before Christmas break. It just happened that way and normally it would not have been my choice to teach that subject right at Christmas. However, after reflecting on the subject of music in Palliative Care and reading the warmly written and insightful article by Thomas Attig, I can honestly say that I am looking forward to the challenge of teaching this subject at this time of year. I am reminded how freeing it is to reflect on those who have passed as we share memories of past Christmas’. Laughter through tears is often SO worthwhile. Thank you Kath for a wonderful newsletter and an early “Merry Christmas”!

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Courtney Murrell is a PSW who works in hospice palliative care.

When she is not at work, she is spending time with her family, going on hikes or writing. Courtney is a lifelong learner and loves to share her passion for writing as a wellness practice.

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