Integrating the Principles of
Palliative Care in Caring for People with Dementia
I just returned from a month of travel in Ontario, Denmark and England. I attended the Hospice Palliative Care Ontario conference, then the European Association of Palliative Care Conference in Copenhagen, and then the Public Health and Palliative Care Conference in Bristol, England.
One of the themes from the European Conference was caring for the older adult. At the European conference it was a privilege to meet Dr. Ladislav Volicer, who gave a wonderful presentation, 'Do We Have the Evidence to Make Decisions About Artificial Hydration and Nutrition in People With Dementia?'. When I was researching about caring for people dying with dementia,with Janice Robinson, I came upon one article by Volicer that summarized all the key research and points that we have discovered in all our readings. Jenny van der Steen addressed a few of the controversial issues in the 'White paper defining optimal palliative care in older people with dementia'. Elizabeth Sampson spoke about the challenge to prognosticate for people dying with dementia and suggested that perhaps we need to help people learn to live with uncertainty. I look around me and I wonder, who knows about living with uncertainty? Who can teach us to cope well when we do not know what is ahead?
I do not have a video of these presentations, but following in the same theme, I am linking you to a video (below) with Dr Romayne Gallagher talking about pain in people with cognitive impairment. This video is part of a series produced by Canadian Virtual Hospice. It is a must watch for all caregivers of people with dementia, or caregivers of people who are less able to report their discomfort.
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