Dementia Care and End of Life Care

People with dementia may experience problems with thinking, memory, behaviour and mobility.

It can be difficult to recognise when someone with dementia is nearing the end of their life. You can support the person by communicating with them and helping them with any symptoms they have. If possible, it’s a good idea to plan the person’s care in advance to help understand what they want from their care.

For an individual consultation or any other enquiries, please contact us on 01386 41492

or click on the button below and send us a message with your needs.

What is End of Life Care?

The term ‘end of life’ usually refers to the last year of life, although for some people this will be significantly shorter. The term palliative care is often used interchangeably with end of life care. However, palliative care largely relates to symptom management, rather than actual end of life care.

End of life care is not just the responsibility of specialist nurses and teams, rather that everyone should be able to care for a loved one as they reach the end of their lives, including all nurses and health care support workers in all settings, the patient’s family as well as members of the community.

Dementia Care and End of Life Care

Dementia care

Private home care

Sometimes the person themselves can make the decision. But the person with dementia often lacks the ability to decide (lacks mental capacity).

If you or someone else has a lasting power of attorney, you can make the decision for the person with dementia, as long as it's in their best interests.

Try to talk to the person with dementia about their preferences regarding care in a home, even if they lack the capacity to make a decision over what care home is best for them.

Finding the right dementia care home

Whoever makes the decision to move someone to a care home must think about why it is in the best interests of the person with dementia. For more on making this decision see How do you know if someone needs to move into a care home? later in this factsheet. The person should be involved in the discussion too, if possible, even if they don’t have capacity to make the decision themselves. This is because they are likely to have preferences and feelings about the decision.

Many carers, family members or friends will also have an idea about what the person with dementia would want. You might be the people who know the person best or have talked to them about what they want for the future. You should be consulted where possible and should say what you think the person would want.

When should someone with dementia go into a care home?

‘When should someone with dementia go into a care home?’ is a question you may have asked yourself. Knowing when someone with dementia should move into residential or nursing care can be difficult. The main thing to think about is whether your loved one’s needs are met at home; is moving into a care home in their best interest?

Dementia is progressive, meaning the person with the condition will require more care and support as time goes on. As your loved one’s condition declines, their needs increase and you may not be able to fully meet these needs despite your best efforts.

This is one example of the number of reasons why it might be time for people with dementia to move into a care home. Other reasons include hospital admissions, worry about your loved one’s safety or their behaviour becomes unmanageable.

There is no cure for dementia and the physical and mental state of a person living with the condition will only worsen. There will never be a perfect time because of the stress and emotional difficulties, but if they need 24-hour supervision and support to stay safe and to ensure good quality of life, the only option may be to move into residential care.

Dementia Care
One idea is to write a list of your loved one’s needs and if you are able to support them. For example:


My wife cannot safely go outside on her own – I can only take her outside in the mornings

Can I guarantee she won’t leave the house without me? – No, it worries me when I’m not there

If your loved one is unable to live independently and cannot care for themselves anymore, moving into a residential setting will give them the benefit of 24-hour care and support. This will give you peace of mind that your loved one is safe and that they receive the right level of care.

What support is available for me if I am caring for someone with dementia?

When you’re caring for someone else, it’s easy to overlook your own needs. But looking after your health and making time for yourself can help you feel better and cope better with your caring role.

Caring for someone with dementia may lead to feelings of guilt, sadness, confusion or anger. Unlike with other conditions, it can be difficult to share these feelings with someone with dementia, leaving you feeling very isolated.


Dementia Care and End of Life Care

It’s important to acknowledge these feelings, and there’s no right or wrong way to feel. If you’re feeling anxious, depressed or struggling to cope stressed, talk to your doctor who can let you know about help and support available to you.

  • Carer’s Groups
  • Online groups
  • Memory cafes
  • Day centres

Dementia care plan

Dementia residents or participants will have a dementia care plan, which includes a more personal account of who the person is. Drawing on the work of Thomas Kitwood, professor and author of “Dementia Reconsidered: The Person Comes First,” this dementia care plan is designed to enhance the experience of people living with dementia, by presenting the resident or participant as if he or she is speaking. It is written to assist caregivers in understanding the person, and includes personal information that is important for caregivers to know and use when working with the resident. For instance, it will include important information about the individual, such as their name and date of birth, the name they answer to, their likes and dislikes, their background and interests, and ideas for caregivers to use when speaking to them.

When reading the dementia care plan, a caregiver or person new to the individual would be able to answer “who is this person?” and “what makes them tick?” The ultimate goal is to provide a voice for the person, especially when they are unable to do so for themselves. Another way of describing it is a “This is Me and This is What I Need” document.

How do I care for someone with dementia?

Alzheimer's and dementia care giving takes patience and flexibility. To reduce frustration, consider these tips for daily tasks — from limiting choices to creating a safe environment.


If you are caring for someone with Alzheimer's disease or a related dementia, your role in managing daily tasks will increase as the disease progresses. Consider practical tips that can help the person with dementia participate as much as possible and enable you to manage tasks effectively.

Dementia Care and End of Life Care

Would you like further information about Alzheimer’s or Dementia care?

If you would like more details about our Alzheimer’s or Dementia care services, please do not hesitate to call us on 01386 41492 or filling out the form.

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t: 01386 41492

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