Within your community you are recognised as person who is a specialist in the evidence-based care of people with dementia.
You are approached by concerned families who share the difficult task of caring for their elders Mrs x and Mr y. (Please provide cultural acceptable names for your people.)
You know that Mrs …..is a 78-year-old mother of 3 grown children. Her husband died 10 years ago and she now lives with her youngest son and his pregnant wife. She migrated to Australia in her 30s, never worked and has always maintained her cultural traditions. Otherwise in good health, she was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease 3 years ago and the family’s main concerns are that she is very forgetful, leaving hot oil on the stove and walking out of the house at night.
Mr …… has no immediate family but is cared for by his nieces and nephews including members of Mrs ….’s family. There is general agreement within the family that Mr …… has Parkinson’s disease but he has told them that his doctor has said he has dementia with Lewy bodies (DLB) and that he can no longer drive.
Extended family and friends (about 30) have asked you to talk to them. They have some specific questions:
1. If Mr…..hasdementia why isn’t he forgetful Like Mrs ……?
2. Why has Mrs …… stopped using English and reverted to her mother tongue and will his happen to Mr …….?
3. Mrs …..seems to have lost interest in her grandchildren. They feel ignored so how can they re- establish a relationship with her?
4. How can the family best support both elders and stop them from deteriorating?
5. We have been told to look to the future and find a service that provides person centred care. What does that mean in our family context?