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Dementia Palliative Care: It’s time to start talking

 

The World Health Organisation (WHO) defines palliative care as “an approach that improves the quality of life of patients and their families facing the problem associated with life-threatening illness, through the prevention and relief of suffering by means of early identification and impeccable assessment and treatment of pain and other problems, physical, psychosocial and spiritual.”[1]

I’m really pleased that Dementia is now internationally recognised as a life-threatening / terminal condition as this means that Dementia palliative care can be taken seriously. My interest in dementia palliative care came from caring for my mother, who is living with dementia. At one stage she was very ill; her memory plummeted and her communication was next to nothing. I had difficulties accessing services and I had poor knowledge of what was available for her, and the fact that she was from Africa created further cultural complications. I went through an emotional roller coaster; I had no clue what my mother’s preferences of care were when she was not able to contribute to discussions, and when we thought that she was about to die, Continue reading “Dementia Palliative Care: It’s time to start talking”

A Guiding Hand

 

‘Red & Yellow made me feel supported; like I wasn’t facing the challenge alone.’

My father has lived between Africa, India and London throughout his life. He has a long standing diagnosis of epilepsy and around 2 years ago was diagnosed with the onset of dementia. In September 2014, it was agreed that he should come back to London a couple of weeks sooner than his scheduled trip from Africa, to have some medical check-ups as he was unwell.

His health took a turn for the worse and he rapidly declined after Continue reading “A Guiding Hand”