Interesting comments both on social media and my blog to Damian’s blog from Friday.
Some carers seemed to be have been offended and were defensive of their situation.
I think those that took offence missed the point of the blog…
Many many articles have been written about the ‘challenging’ behaviour of those with dementia. Few are written from the opposite view point and I applaud Damian for redressing the balance.He wasn’t saying that the role of those caring for someone with dementia isn’t challenging – he acknowledges the difficulties faced in relationships and acknowledges the many challenges as the disease progresses – all he was doing was showing that there are always 2 sides of the story and was writing from our perspective.
Damian isn’t a carer or someone with dementia but he has done some great work around the impact on relationships through the Getting Along Project
No-one tells couples how their relationships will change and Damian has helped many couples understand and learn how to adapt.
For most ‘behaviour’ issues, I would question the assumption that it is challenging behaviour and would ask that you look at the reasons for the behaviour before labelling people with dementia as ‘challenging’, especially in the hospital or care home setting.That, to me is when the ‘label’ may be reversed and placed firmly on the lapel of the person who hasn’t taken the trouble to listen, observe or ask ‘why’ the person with dementia is acting in a ‘challenging’ way. Are they anxious, confused in their surroundings? – in fact ‘behaving’ as anyone would act if placed in an unnatural situation. The difference is usually that you would be able to rationally discuss and change the situation whereas the person with dementia can often not defend themselves in the same way.
So whether all the comments about Damian’s blog have been through guilt, misunderstanding, lack of awareness or simply not getting the point he was trying to make – more than likely a combination of all…..Damian was speaking up for all those people with dementia who can’t speak up for themselves…
In the early stages – like myself – it could be considered’ challenging’ that I take a couple of hours to get ready instead of 30 mins……….it could be infuriating to my daughters. They could get impatient with me – which behaviour would be considered inappropriate?
I hasten to add my daughters simply let me get on in with things at my speed………sometimes I’m so glad I live alone as my behaviour is only ‘challenging’ to me…..
Look again at a couple of slides I showed in a blog last week……….