Dementia, David Cameron and losing ground

I am no historian. I struggle with details. Dates and times have never been my thing. I am however a reflector. I look at the world around me, absorb its colours and ponder. I was going to say ‘think’ although FEEL is probably more accurate. For once, I will not quote Bruce Lee (Google, ‘almondemotionContinue reading “Dementia, David Cameron and losing ground”

Too negative, too positive, or should I just be quiet? (thoughts on the experiences of people living with dementia in the UK)

Ensure independence, autonomy and the right care and support for people living with dementia (and, yes, older people in general) and the NHS will be fine.

This afternoon I described death.

In the Yorkshire and Humber Clinical Network for Dementia we are working to increase knowledge and understanding of delirium. This is a state of reversible confusion and disorientation that occurs more frequently in those living with dementia and at times can be mistaken for dementia itself. It isn’t, dementia, that is. It is different, withContinue reading “This afternoon I described death.”

Tell me what has been happening.

This is how I often start, begin the conversation, listen to the story from the perspective of the husband or wife, son or daughter.   They tell me about my patient, the deterioration, the frequent acknowledgment that things are getting worse, that they see the future.   And, the system, the trying to do itsContinue reading “Tell me what has been happening.”

Dementia #

How hard it is to see the person you love fragmenting, progressing through moments without recollection, changing, shape-shifting into someone different, Lost in time, adrift in place.   An echo of their self hanging clinging, to moments.   As they pass, disintegrate, a flaking headland, eviscerated, hobbled.   Pain that sends an echo, through MondayContinue reading “Dementia #”

Dementia

OK. It is Dementia Awareness Week 2017. Now, until Sunday the 21st. If you want to see what was going-on last year, look here. Today, we released to the world, via You Tube, our most recent film, focusing on Person-Centred Care and Dementia. Just because you have dementia doesn’t mean you stop being you. DementiaContinue reading “Dementia”

‘SDAT’

Here I go again, moaning about medicine… Well, I can’t help myself this time – I can’t remain shtum and let things go. Now it relates to ‘SDAT’ – does anyone know what that means? Heard the term used in one of the the hallowed assessment units located across our country? In the outpatient clinicsContinue reading “‘SDAT’”

Medicines, etc.

Nevertheless, within the dark underbelly of medicine, where geriatricians live, there are some quite stunning effects often, from stopping and sometimes starting medicines.

What is dementia?

Whether we follow the Japanese and find a new name, or work to continue to change attitudes and behaviours, steering people away from the stigma currently associated with dementia is unclear – it is certainly the bogeyman that TB, cancer and HIV once were, we just need to work towards finding better solutions and ways to support people until we find a way out.

Alzheimer’s – what is it?

I guess, after the months that I have been writing about older people, memory and emotion, I should spend some time describing what, in my eyes, is Alzheimer’s disease – bearing in mind that this is my interpretation, rather than say the view you might get from another doctor, whether geriatrician, psychiatrist or neurologist. ThereContinue reading “Alzheimer’s – what is it?”

Reducing restrictive interventions

Take a moment to think of those nurses, healthcare assistants, therapists and domestics who daily see beyond the fear and the worry of an old person, to the human being who is hiding in the shadows, obscured by layers of disease, for they are what keep us human.

Therapeutic lies and false promises…

I have spent the past few days feeling bad – It is strange, when you discover that something you have been doing, that you had considered ‘right’ is explained to be wrong; it is a little like breaking the law when you don’t know something is illegal … I can’t think of an instance (or,Continue reading “Therapeutic lies and false promises…”

There is a strange aesthetic associated with care

If you go to an art gallery, whether the National Portrait in London or your local museum, where paintings are displayed, there is something mesmerising about the human face; when an artist captures the moment of silence, of stillness or of movement, when the years are brought into focus and a person is seen as aContinue reading “There is a strange aesthetic associated with care”

Locked-in, drugs & the 60’s

Here is a question… What do you do when someone you are caring for, refuses your attention? When you, the ‘carer’ – doctor, nurse, therapist, father or son are unable to find a position or a stance that makes sense to the other person, to the extent that you are viewed as a burden, anContinue reading “Locked-in, drugs & the 60’s”

Dentures, specs & hearing aids

Amongst the piles of lost-and-found that accumulate in wards, care homes, clinics and hospital laundries across the UK, surely the missing dentures, spectacles and hearing aids point to something wrong with the way care is operating. ‘I’m fine, thank you,’ smiles Mary. ‘Do you know where you are?’ No response A little louder, ‘Mary, doContinue reading “Dentures, specs & hearing aids”