End-of-Life and Hospice: Focus on Aggressive Comfort Care

  • Open Enrollment Online Course

This is one of five modules in the Caring for Person’s with Alzheimer’s disease and Other Related Dementias and their Families Across the Continuum of Care series. Each learning module is self-paced and focuses on a specific stage of dementia. The overall purpose of the series is to increase the knowledge and skills of nurses and other healthcare professionals to enable them to facilitate optimal dementia care and family support during all stages of the illness. The information provided may also be of interest and helpful to the general public.

  • Start
    Location Online

Course Details

Content includes: clinical signs and symptoms of end-stage dementia; dying and dementia; priorities and goals for care; risk and benefit of treatment; assessment and intervention; and care for the caregiver.

Module includes: voice-enhanced PowerPoint presentations, videos, interactive learning activities, references, call to action, post-test and evaluation. 

Time required: approximately 2 hours; can be completed at one time or in 15-20 minute segments taken at your own pace.

Learning Objectives: 

  • List features associated with end-stage dementia and identify the most common cause of death.
  • Describe medical, behavioral, and functional issues associated with end-stage dementia.
  • Describe education and support needs, end-of-life planning, and lifestyle changes for the person with end-stage dementia and their family.
  • Explain the nursing process and outcomes with implications in caring for the person with end-stage dementia and their families.

Target Audience: Nurses and healthcare providers in clinical and academic settings

The Caring for Person’s with Alzheimer’s disease and Other Related Dementias and their Families Across the Continuum of Care online series was made possible by funding from the John A. Hartford Foundation and Virginia G. Piper Charitable Trust.

About the Instructor

Maribeth Gallagher, DrNP, PMHNP-BC, FAAN

Dr. Maribeth Gallagher serves as dementia program director for the largest non-profit hospice in the U.S., Hospice of the Valley, Phoenix, AZ. As a doctorally prepared and board certified psychiatric nurse practitioner, her accomplishments in the development of unique clinical and educational approaches to dementia care have been recognized by numerous awards from regional, national (Visiting Nurses Association of America (2012), and international organizations (International Journal of Palliative Nursing, London, 2012). Dr. Gallagher is a national policy (U.S. Dementia Care Initiative Expert Consensus Panel, 2012) and project consultant (National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization's Dementia Care Guidelines). Her publications provide evidence-based, feasible and affordable approaches for various types of dementia caregiving challenges. Dr. Gallagher recently co-authored an Evidence Based Practice guideline update on bathing persons with dementia (2013) for the Hartford Center of Gerontological Nursing Excellence at the University of Iowa.

The value and effectiveness of Dr. Gallagher’s contributions are demonstrated by a sustainable Medicare-reimbursed, innovative, evidence-based, interdisciplinary, hospice dementia program model that has positively impacted thousands of patients with dementia, their families, and professional caregivers.


This is an online open enrollment course. After registering, you can access the online course by clicking the 'My CE' tab and then following the 'Blackboard 1.0' link to the right of the course title under 'Courses I'm registered for'.

Required Materials

To register for this course, click the REGISTER button and sign in to continue. If this is your first ASU Continuing Education class, click the Create a new account link, towards the middle of the Sign In screen. ASURITE users can use the Sign in using ASURITE UserID link.

Click here for detailed instructions.

Request More Info

For more information on this course, please fill out the form and an ASU staff member will be in contact with you. We look forward to welcoming you into the ASU community.