What we Know
The provision of palliative care in the context of older age needs to consider some specific issues including cognitive decline, confusion, dementia and/or communication difficulties. As the community ages, dementia is becoming increasingly common. Planning for future changes should be initiated before a person’s decision-making capacity becomes impaired or as soon as possible after a diagnosis of dementia. A palliative approach to care is appropriate for older adults with cognitive impairment, particularly when care is individualised. Palliative care is associated with reduced pain, restlessness and agitation and a higher likelihood of a person dying in their location of choice.