Following established principles for palliative care is essential for quality of life for people with dementia nearing the end of their lives. Excellence in palliative care involves:
- advance care planning
- expert symptom management
- psychological and spiritual care
- bereavement services for family members and caregivers (Hanson and Ersek, 2006).
- skin care
- bowel care
- oral health.
Maintaining dignity means attention to:
- personal grooming
- use of personal clothing
- addressing people by name
- continuing to talk to a person, even if they no longer speak
- respecting previously agreed care and end of life decisions
- encouraging the presence of family members who can offer comfort
- spiritual support, if requested
- personal preferences, for example music, flowers, aromas, natural light, sounds and smells of nature.