How to manage end-of-life care in the face of cognitive decline

Decision-making in the context of cognitive decline is complex, not only for the patient but also for the GP.

End-of-life planning issues can be difficult to manage.

Senior home nurse

This type of planning, and the accompanying ethical and legal issues, should be dealt with in advance of the patient becoming critically unwell, particularly in those people with diagnoses that will involve a decline in cognition, such as dementia or brain tumours.

In mainstream Western society, we often avoid discussions about end-of-life issues. However, death is as much an inevitable part of life as birth.

As a society, we place significantly more emphasis