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End-of-life care and people with dementia: Admiral nurses
  1. Susan Ashcroft-Simpson, Admiral Nurse Team Leader,
  2. Pam Kehoe, Admiral Nurse,
  3. Loraine Butterworth, Admiral Nurse and
  4. John Keady, Nurse Team Leader
  1. Susan Ashcroft-Simpson is Admiral Nurse Team Leader, Pam Kehoe is Admiral Nurse, Loraine Butterworth is Admiral Nurse, Admiral Nursing Service, Manchester Mental Health and Social Care NHS Trust, Beswick, Manchester, John Keady is Professor of Older People’s Mental Health Nursing, School of Nursing, Midwifery and Social Work, The University of Manchester, Manchester. Email: sue.ashcroft-simpson{at}mhsc.nhs.uk

Abstract

Accurately predicting the end of life for people with dementia is a complex and fraught area. People dying from dementia have symptoms and healthcare needs that are comparable with cancer. Drawn directly from practice experience, this article outlines three case scenarios that cover the dying trajectory of people with dementia and the post-bereavement support provided to carers. It is suggested that strategies to reconnect carers to people with dementia, for example, through promoting sensory stimulation and highlighting positive caring actions, can help in this adjustment process. National dementia care guidelines have suggested that specialist palliative care nurses may be one way forward to fill the current service and policy vacuum in dementia care at the end of life. Admiral nurses have advanced skills in the community assessment, treatment and care of people with dementia and their carers. Future research should aim to evaluate the role of specialist nursing practice in dementia and to explore the construction of quality of life and quality of care at the end of life. Conflicts of interest: none

  • Admiral nursing
  • Case scenarios
  • Dementia
  • End of life
  • Mental health nursing

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