Michael Gordon, MD, MSc, FRCPC, FRCP Edin, Medical Program Director, Palliative Care, Baycrest Geriatric Health Care System; Professor of Medicine, University of Toronto, Toronto, ON.
Natalie Baker, MSc, Project Coordinator, Baycrest Geriatric Health Care System, Toronto, On.
Physicians and other health care providers have learned to approach end-of-life care issues in individuals suffering from malignant disease quite effectively. Palliative approaches are widely accepted for this population. In contrast, individuals suffering from end-stage dementia may also benefit from suitably tailored palliative care which is much less often considered or provided. It is incumbent on health care professionals responsible for treating those with end-stage dementia to offer palliative care. This must be preceded by proper discussions between afflicted individuals, their families and their health care providers to assure that they understand the progress and prognosis of end-stage dementia.
Keywords: dementia, palliative care, end-of-life care.