End of life care

11. Place of death

A person with dementia should be supported to die in a place of their choice whenever possible. For many people this will be somewhere familiar such as their own home or the sheltered housing or care home in which they live.

In spite of this wish, many people with dementia are admitted to hospital towards the end of their lives and end up dying there. In most cases, moving to a busy and unfamiliar environment such as a hospital ward is difficult or distressing and not what the person would have wanted.

If the person has previously expressed a preference to be cared for where they usually live, this should be included in the care plan. This will help avoid an unnecessary admission to hospital at the end of life. Achieving this will require coordination so that all those involved in the person's care – whether it be relatives, the GP, staff at a care home or sheltered housing, or other professionals – know about this preference.

If the person is living in their own home and has expressed a wish to die there, talk to the care team early on about this, as plans will need to be made.