Research abstracts: dementia and palliative care

Title: An integrated approach to dementia care.
Author: Kim Y Kye, Brian E Wood
Reference: Dementia: the International Journal of Social Research and Practice, 6(2), May 2007, pp295-299.

Abstract: The authors provide a brief overview of the services provided by the Dementia Care Program at the Salem VA Medical Center in the United States, which provides comprehensive and seamless services to older veterans and their families. The program covers outpatient care, respite care, inpatient care and end-of-life care, all provided by the same interdisciplinary team. The program could serve as a model for dementia care in the Veteran Association health care system or other public sector systems.

Title: End-of-life decision making for nursing home residents with dementia: a survey of nursing home social services staff.
Author: Debra Lacey
Reference: Health and Social Work, 31(3), August 2006, pp189-199.

Abstract: This survey describes nursing home social services staff roles and perceptions related to end-of-life medical decision making for nursing home residents in end stage dementia. Using a self-designed questionnaire, 138 nursing home social services staff from across New York State answered questions about advance directives, medical interventions, and comfort levels with withholding and withdrawing of treatment. The results showed a high degree of involvement in advance directive discussions, problems in the implementation of advance directives, and wide variation in comfort levels with treatment issues. Results indicate need for further research.

Title: Palliative care in severe dementia: in association with nursing and residential care
Editor: Julian Hughes
Publisher: London: MA Healthcare, 2006. 138p.

Abstract: Palliative care is ideally suited as an approach to the care of people with dementia. This books takes seriously the need for a holistic view, involving physical, psychological, social and spiritual aspects of care. Written by experts in the field, with some very practical advice, it also places a heavy emphasis on the ethical issues that arise for professionals and for families in the care of people with severe dementia.

Title: Exploring palliative care for people with dementia: a discussion document
Author: National Council for Palliative Care
Publisher: London: National Council for Palliative Care, 2006. 23p, bibliog.

Abstract: The purpose of this document is to raise awareness and encourage debate around ensuring that people with dementia can access good quality care at the end of their life, a situation that is presently seldom available. This document is jointly published by the National Council for Palliative Care and the Alzheimer’s Society.

Title: Ethical foundations of palliative care for Alzheimer’s disease
Editors: Ruth Purtilo, Henk Have
Publisher: Baltimore, MD: John Hopkins University Press, 2004. 368p.

Abstract: The symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease often fail to place such persons into settings where palliative care resources are available to them. Indeed, clinicians and other caregivers may be unsure about what constitutes effective palliation in these cases. The book explores ethical and scientific concerns about the diagnosis and prognosis of Alzheimer’s disease, challenges arising from applying palliative procedures to its symptoms.


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