Old age, dementia and end-of-life-care.

Student thesis: Doctoral Thesis

Abstract

To have an accurate view of the end-of-life care received by older people
is necessary to inform policy makers and practitioners on how to face the
challenges posed by an ageing population. This dissertation aims to fill
the knowledge gaps that currently exist regarding end-of-life care for
older people, including people living and dying with dementia. Using
population-based data from multiple studies and quantitative analyses,
the dissertation investigates differences between care settings in end-oflife
care received, out-of-pocket costs of care in the last year of life,
trends in advance care planning and palliative care provision in Belgium,
and challenges specific to end-of-life care for people with dementia. The
dissertation highlights encouraging improvements made over time, such
as greater awareness of patient preferences by general practitioners, as
well as areas where improvements can still be made, such as
communication with people with dementia and their next of kin and the
provision of palliative care to non-cancer patients. The findings of this
dissertation provide guidance for determining priorities to improve the
care at the end of life of older people and people with dementia. Based
on her findings, the author advises additional investment in formal care
at home and support for informal carers, an increase of palliative care
expertise in care homes, more and earlier communication with people
with dementia and their family carers, and earlier involvement of
palliative care for people with dementia and other chronic conditions.
Date of Award31 Oct 2016
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • Vrije Universiteit Brussel
SupervisorLieve Van den Block (Promotor), Luc Deliens (Co-promotor), Jan Vandevoorde (Jury), Ellen Gorus (Jury), Jan Versijpt (Jury), Peter Pype (Jury) & Roeline Pasman (Jury)

Keywords

  • End-of-Life Care
  • Dementia

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