Advanced cancer and dementia

For some people, it may not be possible to control the cancer any longer or they may not be well enough to have treatment. In this case, their cancer doctor or nurse will make sure they have treatments to manage any symptoms they may have. This is called palliative care.

Some people may be under the care of a palliative care team when they are first diagnosed with cancer and dementia. Others may be referred to a palliative care team at a later stage. The person you care for can be referred for palliative care by their cancer doctor, GP or specialist nurse.

Community specialist palliative care teams

Palliative care teams include specialist nurses and doctors. These teams specialise in controlling pain and symptoms, as well as offering emotional support. They are sometimes based in hospices and can visit people who are being cared for at home.

Community specialist palliative care nurses will work closely with the person’s GP, district nurse and other hospital services. They will tell you more about their services, how to contact them and when they are available.

End of life

Hearing that the person you care for may be near the end of their life can be very difficult and distressing. You may experience strong emotions. You may need some time on your own or you might want to talk things through with your partner, a relative or a close friend.

Some people find it easier to talk to someone outside their family. If you think this would be helpful, you can talk to your doctor. Or you can call one of the support organisations listed on our database. They will be able to talk things through with you.

We have more information in our section about coping at the end of life. It is aimed at people in the final stages of life and their carers.

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