“Confused Conclusion”

A recent study of elderly people admitted to hospital found that those affected with dementia were suffering because hospital staff have no idea how to treat them.  The study went on to suggest that hospitals should assume that all older people potentially have dementia.

I believe this is a dangerous conclusion to reach without a proper assessment.  It is perfectly natural for people who are ill and whisked into a strange environment to be dis-orientated.  When, as often is the case, they also have to wait around for hours; it is not surprising that some of them become agitated and sometimes unreasonable.  Not all confusion is the result of dementia and if staff treat elderly people automatically as if they are mentally ill, then other more treatable health conditions could be missed.

Yes, of course staff should be properly trained to look out for dementia, but they should assume elderly people are mentally aware, UNTIL they have good evidence to suggest otherwise.

About a third of all residents who are thought to have dementia are treated with anti-psychotic drugs (the chemical COSHH).  This is often for the patients’ safety, but also for the staff’s convenience.  It is restraint by another name.  Patients treated this way often become drowsy and even more confused.  Incontinence and pressure sores are frequent outcomes and the elderly person is often discharged from hospital with even more problems than when they were first admitted.

A diagnosis of dementia should only be made after careful consideration by experts.  Anything less can lead to long-term incorrect treatment and the writing off of a life.  Jumping to conclusions is not a good answer.

For other blogs on Dementia, click on “Dementia” under TOPICS

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2 Responses to “Confused Conclusion”

  1. As one travels through life and picks up the baggage of time, and then one by one ones family and friends become the departed, and then one lives alone, and looses the art of conversation, with others, but not with themselves: It becomes hard for the outsider to make contact and discuss the issues that give rise to anguish, and is this is loneliness or senile dementia or even alzhiemiers, who has the key. It can be distressing to all parties.
    Then is the solution a collection of the same persons with the same complaint ailment in a common residence. Some deep thought is needed, and while it maybe family involvement it all comes down to care on a 24/7 cycle, and dedicated staff to enlighten the daily burden of the mental anguish of the lost soul, and bring back some normality of life.
    When one reaches ones dotage after the golden years of living society should I believe pay something back to the vunerable, and the NHS budget has to be split and spent wisely, but how is the question? We still need the health and well being of the young in order to support the golden oldies? It is a conundrum but one worth fighting for! In these times of enforced austerity some difficult and ackward choices will have to be made, We need socialist ideas with a good dose of philenthrophic giving so the riches of the few benifit as many as possible, but please not with political dogma but with compassion and kindness.

    • Stefany says:

      My Mom , spent her last week of her life with me, she would try and tell me certain things about what she wanted done after she died, I didn’t want to hear it, I could not believe anything was going to happen to her, I wish I could have been a little more attentive, but she left us a note telling us what to do and that she wanted us kids to love each other and to take care of each other and I was to take care of Dad, which I did. I think God gives some the knowledge he is coming to get them. My Older Sister told me the last time I seen her that she wasn’t going to get better and that she loved me, and a month later she died

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