Palliative and end of life care of dementia at home is feasible and rewarding:Results from the `Hope for Home' study
AbstractEven though palliative care of dementia and care at home are key NHS priorities, services that set out specifically to support palliative care of dementia at home are virtually non-existent. We studied a novel service that has supported many people with advanced dementia at home through till death. Key factors for success include the right equipment, expertise around relevant medication, food, and social care needs, as well as understanding and support for funding care commissioning and informal care. The study revealed blockages to accessing support as a result of poor understanding of the needs of advanced dementia care as well as organizational prejudice. We demonstrate that good, home based palliative care of dementia can be achieved with very positive outcomes. Bereavement may be helped by the process of caring at home till death. Given that the Audit Commission has cited home care of advanced dementia as good value for money, it is of grave concern that services to support people with advanced dementia at home are not available.