Western Australia’s End of Life Care Program has announced the release of a palliative care framework for people with dementia.
WA’s Department of Health says the End-of-Life and Palliative Care for People with Dementia Framework framework will facilitate awareness and understanding of the specific needs associated with caring for people with dementia and other forms of cognitive decline.
Many people are unaware that dementia is the second leading cause of death in Australia and has a profound impact on end-of-life and palliative care services, the department said in a statement today.
“Palliative care for people with dementia is different from other life-limiting illnesses and specific considerations. Dementia is unpredictable and the decline or loss of decision-making capacity are significant barriers to accessing responsive and respectful palliative care.”
“The Framework offers health service providers and administrators a guide to planning, developing and implementing local processes and solutions to address the needs of people with dementia.”
It also provides guidance and support to individuals and their families so people with dementia are as involved as possible in the advance care planning process to ensure person centred end-of-life care.
It outlines principles to ensure people with dementia have timely access to appropriate end-of-life and palliative care services, which align with the six priorities in the WA End-of-Life and Palliative Care Strategy 2018-2028.
WA Health and the End of Life Care Program are committed to improving the provision of end-of-life and palliative care across the State, to ensure the needs of our ageing population and increasing demand for services are met, the department said.