Wednesday, 5 July 2017

getting older?

Most of us fear getting older, losing physical mobility, getting ill, and 'losing our marbles'.  Not sure how the latter would fare in a language/ political correctness test, but still.

How do we handle this - for ourselves, and for our friends or relatives?  Where is the conversation that tells someone they are going to have/ should have a mental health assessment?  Can they / might they refuse?  What to do if they do?  Where is  the conversation where we discuss with a parent that they may have dementia?  How to start such a conversation?  Should one avoid such a conversation?  Can it help to acknowledge this sort of thing?  Might it not be the end of the world?

More questions than answers, perhaps.

However, to consider some of these issues.

It seems to me important, and ethical, to inform, and consult, people of what is happening.  There is the issue of giving notice of an event - a week ahead, a day ahead, an hour ahead, a moment ahead.  And what it may comprise.  And could it be helpful to be accompanied.

Is there a definitive diagnosis for dementia?  Do people avoid the term?  Perhaps dementia is a collection of symptoms which when taken together is known as dementia.  Knowing this, can this help inform the best way to help someone manage and care for themselves as far as is possible.  Where is the boundary with 'no longer possible'?

I'm using this post as an opportunity to open up discussion and thinking around issues that have come up for me recently.  By discussion, we may find good ways to handle these kinds of issues, to go forward, and be the best support for people who may be struggling, consciously or not, with issues of mental health and dementia.

Please add any thoughts or comments below.


  1. just found this useful link about diagnosis of dementia - as I thought not clearly diagnosable, but a cluster of signs and symptoms. http://www.alz.org/what-is-dementia.asp

  2. this TV programme on this topic was .... inspiring.... http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b08y3tcp/granddad-dementia-me