Dementia: We Are Both Spitting Blood

Image result for spitting blood picture

Maureen has been spitting blood this morning as she tries to address the ongoing soreness in her mouth.  I hope I’m able to encourage her to keep cleaning her teeth and use a mouthwash to try and eradicate what has become a chronic condition.  My blood spitting was of a different order yesterday as I explained my concerns to our Key Worker about how Maureen had been mistreated in the last few years.

There were clear signs that there was something wrong with Maureen’s cognitive and functional capacity well before her stroke.  Unfortunately, family members were in denial and the medical profession was reluctant to explore my concerns.  A belated diagnosis of stroke three years ago left it far too late for any kind of medical intervention.

Maureen’s eventual diagnosis of vascular dementia led to discharge from the Memory Service. As one of their Consultants explained to us ‘you have to accept a new reality’.  What concerns me as the Best interest Meeting draws closer is that reality has hardly been person-centred based on Maureen’s life experiences.  All too often, the focus of professional staff has been on the disease and not the person: with a medical model lingering in the background.  Their one size fits all approach to supporting Care Partners fills my mouth with an unpleasant taste with the BIM a week away!

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