Dementia: Staying Positive

I think Maureen and I have been very sensible over the last week or so.  There is little doubt that there have been changes in her presentation, and our bio social/psycho approach to dementia has paid off.  As a precaution antibiotics have cleared up any suspicion of infection, and we move on.  We had a great day yesterday: staying in bed until she wakes in the morning leads to a positive start to the day.  Consequently, I will not blog before 8 am from now on.

We are far from fans of medication, and only take tablets as a last resort.  Therefore, my hunch was that the environment was impacting on Maureen’s presentation rather than further progression of dementia.  Familiarity with some of the thinking of Irving Kirsch and Peter Kinderman will always be behind my approach to being a Care Partner.  I always try to consider what has been going on, rather than focus blindly on symptoms.

I will always be grateful to my cyber friend Irving Kirsch for his exposition of the shortcomings of antidepressants for mild to moderate depression.  Indeed, had I accepted the ‘chemical imbalance myth’ I would have been swallowing mirtazapine for the rest of my life.  My contact with  Peter Kinderman has been minimal but I will be eternally grateful for his assertion of the need to focus on environment rather than symptoms.  This way of looking at things has great resonance in our current situation.

Maureen has shared much in the last few days: opening up on her anxieties probably more than she ever has done before in her life.  It is not surprising that she is frightened at so many levels: strange men in her room; that I will get fed up of her and put her in a home; that she can’t remember the simplest detail; and much more.  None of this is a mental health issue it is a healthy reaction to dementia.  Maureen didn’t need medication she needed to share her concerns and know that she is loved.


2 thoughts on “Dementia: Staying Positive

  1. It’s always interesting to hear about your different approach Paul, and good to hear that this seems to have had a positive effect on Maureen. I hope there are a lot more positive times for you both in the New Year.


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