Dr. Dana PeerDementia Care Specialist, Israel
Title: Palliative care throughout the dementia journey
Dementia is a growing epidemic in the 21st century, affecting millions of people worldwide, with thousands of people newly diagnosed daily. Dementia is an umbrella term for various neurodegenerative syndromes, currently incurable and of a progressive nature, of which most common is Alzheimer’s disease. Despite the insidious nature of dementia, a Palliative Care approach is usually offered to Persons with Dementia (PwD) only in advanced stages. Clinicians often offer palliative care when the PwD reaches stage 7 on the FAST scale, which is the final stage. This disease affects the PwD as well as their social network in a continuously challenging manner, and Palliative Care principles are appropriate for alleviating care partners burden, as well as improving and maintaining quality of life for the PwD.
This presentation will demonstrate implementation of Palliative Care principles from the early stages of dementia until end of life. Practical and ethical issues in dementia care, such as diagnosis disclosure, coping with challenging behaviors, pain management and more, need to be based on an approach focused on quality of life and decreasing suffering for all involved.
Dana Peer is a Gerontologist (PhD, MA) and an Occupational Therapist specializing in Dementia Care. Dana brings over 20 years of experience to consulting and guiding family caregivers and health care professionals on the journey of caring for PwD. She is leader in the field of dementia care in Israel and has published a highly acclaimed book on the issue. Having been a member of the steering committee and vice-chair of TMICHA, a Palliative Care NPO in Israel, Dana teaches and advocates for incorporating Palliative Care in all dementia care from early in the disease. Dana facilitates a monthly Death Café in her hometown.