Nurses perceptions around providing palliative care for long-term care residents with dementia

S. Kaasalainen, K. Brazil, J. Ploeg, L.S. Martin

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39 Citations (Scopus)


Providing palliative care for residents with dementia in long-term care (LTC) settings is problematic due to their declining verbal abilities and related challenges. The goal of this study was to explore nurses' perceptions around providing palliative care for such residents. Using a qualitative descriptive design, data were gathered from focus groups at three LTC facilities. Participants represented all levels of nursing staff. Concepts that emerged from the data were labelled, categorized, and coded in an iterative manner. Nurses appraise residents' general deterioration as a main factor in deciding that a resident is palliative. Nurses often employ creative strategies using limited resources to facilitate care, but are challenged by environmental restrictions and insufficient educational preparation. However, nurses said they do not wish for residents to be transferred to a hospice setting, as they .wish to grieve with residents and their family members. Nurses aim to facilitate a "good death" for residents with dementia, while trying to manage multiple demands and deal with environmental issues. Supportive and educational initiatives are needed for nursing staff and families of dying residents.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)173-180
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Palliative Care
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 01 Sep 2007

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