“People in the advanced stages don’t know they have dementia” – A blanket statement made last week by Professor Graham Stokes at the UK Dementia Congress……..
I remember taking a large intake of breathe as I was shocked at this random statement…..
Does it matter that people aren’t aware? Probably not in the grand scheme of things, but is it respectful to assume that? Me thinks not.
If people hadn’t been told, were in denial, didn’t understand before the advanced stages, I wouldn’t be surprised if it were the same for them in the late stages.
But isn’t it assuming that people in the late stages have lost all intellect? If so, how do we know that? What proof is there? How on earth could you prove such a concept?
When I saw Prof Stokes, I felt that I’d disagreed with his comments previously ….I seem to intuitively know if someone has upset me before…so I trawled through my blogs…there was my answer……
I’d attended a conference back in 2015 where the titles of many talks was around “Challenging behaviour”. He was one of the speakers. I hadn’t disagreed with everything he’d said but that emotion had obviously lingered…..I’d changed my talk that day to reverse their theory and spoke of ‘Challenging staff’……it was early days in my ‘speaking out’ and I imagine I would have been more vocal if it had been now…….
Anyway back to the current debate….some people don’t wish to acknowledge a diagnosis of dementia, which is their choice. Others simply don’t recognise the diagnosis in themselves. However, for a blanket statement to be made by a well known professor in the dementia world, without any hint of proof seems a tad ignorant to me….
After all, at what point are we considered to be in the ‘Advanced Stages’? 🤔
Some Care Home staff have said to me that some of their residents are aware. I’d be interested to know your views, especially if you care for someone in the advanced stages……
Only time will tell if people like me, who openly accept the diagnosis now, will know and acknowledge dementia in some way in the late stages, but hopefully I’ll be dead before I reach that point…