Do people with dementia die at their preferred location of death? A systematic literature review and narrative synthesis

Age Ageing. 2014 Jan;43(1):13-9. doi: 10.1093/ageing/aft151. Epub 2013 Oct 14.


Aim: place of death is an important component of the quality of a person's death. The aim of this study was to undertake a systematic review and narrative synthesis of the literature concerning place of death of people with dementia and the preferences for location of death of people with dementia as well as family carers and healthcare providers preferred location of death for patients with dementia.

Methods and results: studies relying on death certificate data show that patients with dementia die more commonly in care homes than other locations contrasting with prospective studies which show that death is more common in own residence and hospital. Age (older), gender (male), availability of hospital and nursing home beds and enrolment in hospice, influence place of death. There is very limited evidence of patients, family carers and healthcare providers' views on preferred location of death for patients with dementia and the only study included reported that, family carers views are more agreed to rather than patients own views regarding place of death.

Conclusion: this study on place of death raises exploratory questions on end-of-life care for patients with dementia which has implications on health and social care policies related to dementia.

Keywords: dementia; end-of-life care; older people; place of death.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Age Factors
  • Aging / psychology*
  • Attitude of Health Personnel
  • Attitude to Death
  • Caregivers / psychology
  • Death Certificates
  • Dementia / diagnosis
  • Dementia / mortality*
  • Dementia / psychology
  • Family Relations
  • Female
  • Health Facilities*
  • Homes for the Aged
  • Hospital Mortality
  • Hospitals
  • Housing*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Nursing Homes
  • Patient Preference*
  • Quality of Health Care*
  • Terminal Care*