On March 31st, Appalachian State University Graduate Gerontology alumna Lisa Nguyen presented her independent study research at the 37th annual meeting of the Southern Gerontological Society in Charlottesville, VA.
Her presentation, "Quality Dementia Care through Palliative Care and End-of-Life Planning," laid out a need for end-of-life planning soon after a diagnosis of Alzheimer's Disease (AD), while cognition is still intact. Given the projected increase in the prevalence of dementia – especially Alzheimer's Disease – "dying with dignity" becomes a more salient goal for this population.
Ms. Nguyen identified barriers to advance care planning specific to dementia patients and their families and described the value of palliative care. A key barrier to this is a public misconception that AD is not a terminal disease. Thus end-of-life preferences and decisions of the person with dementia are not seen as essential steps in planning for the future.
Ms.Nguyen's presentation was the first time a poster was given electronically at a Southern Gerontological Society annual meeting. She conducted her research under the supervision of Dr. James R. Peacock.