Sue Lillyman, IAH Trustee
With dementia noted as the leading cause of deaths in England and Wales in 2015 (Office of National Statistics 2016) and with approximately 860,000 people living with dementia, which is still estimated to rise to 1,142,677 by 2025 (Alzheimer’s Society 2014) there is a need for people to discuss, prepare and provide optimal care for people with dementia at the end of life. Everyone has a fundamental right to die with dignity, be safe and protected from harm (DoH 2013) but, as noted by some researchers, the traditional palliative care model used for many other long-term conditions does not fit people dying with, and from, dementia (Bloomer et al 2011). Therefore, it is timely that we review specific needs for this group including behavioural concerns, discussions in relation to preparing for end of life, difficulty re placement of care, carer burden and over burdensome and/or under treatment in our discussions and education (Torke et al 2010).
Peter Mayer MA FRCP
There are many opportunities to be involved in improving patient services and developing the future in health and social care and research within many countries and this is central policy in the UK. Any locality will have many forums in commissioning primary and secondary care as well as national and local government groups.
Dawne Garrett, Professional Lead - Older People and Dementia Care, Royal College of Nursing.
Voltaire tells us we are all formed of frailty and error. Certainly we all have a picture of frailty, perhaps an old thin, small, stooped and wrinkled lady, slow of step, quiet of voice and without strength.
In terms of the clinical label of frailty this is untrue. Frailty is phenotype; not a normal part of ageing, but a long term condition. If frailty was about age then all older people would be frail and clearly they are not.