Despite having complex needs, most of the healthcare received by people in the later stages of dementia is provided by GPs or emergency services, with little support from specialist healthcare professionals. | via Marie Curie
Researchers, from the Marie Curie Palliative Care Research Department at University College London, found that GPs were the main providers of medical care, with 96% of people with advanced dementia seeing a GP in their last month of life. Paramedics also played a major role in assessment and healthcare towards the end of life, suggesting a reactive rather than planned response to patients’ needs – nearly one in five (19%) were seen by a paramedic in the month prior to their death.
Only 1% of people with advanced dementia were seen during the follow up period of the study by a geriatrician or an older persons’ psychiatrist.
Based on the findings, the researchers say that healthcare services are not currently tailored to the complex needs and symptoms of people with advanced dementia. Given that dementia is now the leading cause of death, they say there is urgent need to ensure an adequate standard of comfort and quality of life for patients.
Full story at Marie Curie