New Dementia report from the Alzheimer's Society

Date: 
25 October 2012
Findings show that crucial conversations between professionals, people with dementia and their families and carers aren't taking place.

The new report from the Alzheimer’s Society, ‘My Life Until The End: Dying Well With Dementia’, also found that people with dementia aren't dying in their place of choice, that dementia is poorly understood by the public, and that we don't discuss it enough.

Speaking in response to the report  Simon Chapman, Director of Policy and Parliamentary Affairs at NCPC said:

“Death and dementia represent two powerful human fears: losing our lives and losing our minds. But it is precisely because of the force of the fears that surround ‘the two Ds’ that people need to be able to discuss death and dementia more openly and confidently.

One in three people will die with dementia and we need to make sure that they receive the care and support that they need. Fears about death and dementia create barriers to people talking about the condition and its impact on people’s life and death. Our work with people with dementia and their families over the years consistently shows that planning for the future, including the end of life, is empowering and life-affirming: once done people can get on with living life, safe in knowledge that their wishes are known when the time comes. But they need support from professionals, family and friends to make this happen.”

This new report adds to a well-established evidence base that conversations aren't routinely taking place between people with dementia, their families and the professionals who care for them about their preferences for the end of life. Our work with GPs has shown that simple, low-cost interventions can give professionals the confidence they need to have end of life care conversations. We will continue to work hard with Alzheimer’s Society, the Department of Health and others to train and support people working in health and social care services to improve dementia care. However this is issue for society as a whole, not just public services: dementia and dying affects us all.

You can read the full report from the Alzheimer's Society here and you can buy NCPC's publication Difficult Conversations for Dementia here.

 

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