Stigmatising dementia

Helen Jones, Sydney, Jun 14, 2024

Dear editor,

I too have a close friend diagnosed with younger onset Alzheimer’s disease. She is in an excellent care facility, and every day I see photos of her smiling face, despite her advanced memory loss, and inability to walk or talk. To describe her life as one of ‘intolerable suffering’ is completely untrue.

Dementia is an umbrella term for many diseases, including Alzheimer’s, so it is inaccurate to say dementia or Alzheimer’s.

Whilst I understand the viewpoint of the author, and do not necessarily disagree with euthanasia in general, I think unfortunately the focus is on the disease, not the person living with dementia. Residential aged care in Australia may be inadequate to ensure quality of life for people living with dementia. Therefore a more enlightened goal would be to improve aged care, not stigmatise people with dementia or aging in general.

Many people with dementia can live fulfilling and rewarding lives for many years before reaching the terminal stage.

Share and Enjoy !

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