A mixed methods research study to develop an acceptable, evidence and practice based model for palliative care for people with dementia in the community

People are living longer, which means that more of us will get age-related illnesses such as dementia. Palliative Care aims to improve the quality of life of patients and their families who are facing an incurable, life-limiting illness, such as dementia. Palliative care involves actively looking for symptoms of any kind- physical, social, spiritual, or psychological - and providing excellent care to lessen these symptoms. People with dementia need palliative care just as much as people with cancer, but they often don't get it.

This project aims to improve the palliative care of people with dementia, and their families, by developing a "model". The model maps out what services, assessments and treatments the person might need, and where, so the health system can organise their care better. This model aims to support people with dementia to live well at home in the community for as long as possible.

To develop a good model that would work in Ireland, we must first learn what is already known about "good" palliative care for people with dementia. We will find and examine services that provide palliative care for people with dementia, in the Republic of Ireland, Northern Ireland, England, Scotland, and Wales. We will pick them apart to find the best parts in practice. We will also look at all the research done so far in this area, to see what parts worked best in research. Using what we learn from these two studies, we will develop a model of palliative care for people with dementia living at home, in Ireland. We will talk to people with dementia, their families, and healthcare professionals, to adjust the model and make it as useful as possible. We will also look at the likely cost versus the "value" to people with dementia of the new model. 

Award Date
30 June 2017
Award Value
€357,724
Principal Investigator
Dr Suzanne Timmons
Host Institution
University College Cork
Scheme
Investigator Led Projects