Ep. 393 End-of-Life Care for People with Dementia with Barbara Karnes RN

Learn about the challenges faced by caregivers for dementia patients and some creative ideas for offering support.

In this episode I welcome back my recurring guest Barbara Karnes, hospice nurse, speaker, thought leader, and expert on end-of-life care. She is the author of the “little blue hospice book” Gone From My Sight and her most recent book By Your Side: A Guide for Caring for the Dying at Home. We discuss the challenges of caring for a person with dementia and the impact that care can have on family members. Learn more about Barbara’s work at her website:


Listen here:

This episode includes:

  • There are now over 7 million people with dementia in the US
  • Dementia patients require twice as many hours of care as other patients
  • The late stage of dementia can last 1-2 years; patients are eligible for hospice care during the last 6 months
  • How the last stage of life for dementia patients differs from that of other end-of-life patients
  • Why caregivers for dementia patients are much more likely to suffer exhaustion and depression
  • A marker to use for determining when a dementia patient is eligible for hospice
  • Why it’s essential to create an advance directive early in the course of dementia while the patient can make decisions
  • The need for “dementia doulas” to guide and assist caregivers
  • What happens when a caregiver can no longer take care of their loved one at home
  • How some financial planners are doing a better job talking to their clients about preparing for healthcare needs than medical providers are doing
  • Simple tips to help caregivers in the moment

Links mentioned in this episode:

If you enjoy this content please share it with others and consider leaving a review on iTunes. Thanks again to all supporters on my page at Patreon.com/eolu, especially my newest patron Barbara Richardson and thank you also to Jen Blalock for buying me a coffee! Your contributions make all the difference.