End-of-life care, or palliative care, aims to support a person in the later stages of a life-limiting condition to live as well as possible until they pass on. It also aims to support family and caregivers during this time and after the person passes on. End-of-life care may last for weeks, months, or occasionally years. It is often difficult to know exactly when a person living with dementia is approaching the end of their life.
A person-centred care approach is an important aspect of palliative care as it is with dementia care in general. A person-centred approach, according to Professor Tom Kitwood, a major contributor in the field of dementia care: values a person who lives with dementia; treats the person as an individual; looks at the world through the person’s perspective; and addresses the effects of the social environment on the person living with dementia.1 These things are just as important for a person living with dementia as they live their final days.