Debbie Dempsey

International Journal of Palliative Nursing, Vol. 19, Iss. 5, 24 May 2013, pp 227 - 234

Advance care planning (ACP) is a process being championed within health and social care, particularly since the publication of the UK Department of Health's 2008 End of Life Care Strategy. However, its implementation in dementia care is yet to be fully realised and can pose significant ethical and legal dilemmas for the generic and specialist workforce, the patient themselves, and their family or loved ones. Challenges may be attributable to inadequate communication, capacity issues, missed opportunities, and the perception that dementia is not a life-limiting illness. The aim of this paper is to highlight the benefits of ACP for individuals with dementia while appraising the recognised barriers to assist in developing some realistic recommendations for future practice.

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