in the shadow of Ladyman

Brenda

Registered User
Jul 21, 2004
15
Devon
North Devon Primary care trust are consulting on a new mental health strategy. They express the following under the heading 'New thinking in mental healthcare'
Historically, people with mental illness were not expected to recover and were given a poor prognosis with the illness taking a uniformly downward spiralling course. The extensive evidence based literature and information that is now available that promotes the concept of'wellbeing' has enabled service users and workers to look differently at the support and treatment that is required to help someone towards their recovery.
The recovery model has recently been adopted as the prevailing model for care and treatment of those with severe and enduring mental illness including psychosis. Recovery has been described in many different ways as a process, an outlook, a vision, and a guiding principle. Instead of focusing on symptons and relief from symptons, a recovery approach aims to support an individual in their own personal development, self esteem, identify and finding a meaningful role in society. The approach has been suggested as a new paradigm for delivering services. This approach is further enhanced throught the development of improved interventions including medicines and phsychological therapies.
The approach has application to practice and service development suggesting that both should support the 'five foundations of recovery';hope,personal responsibility, education,self-advocacy, developing and maintaining a support system. The consequence for service development is insuring the principles are reflected in decisions made. Services should promote the development of the individual rather than traditional medical models.

I have checked with the primary care trust and am advised that this covers Alzheimer's disease.
Even if you live outside of glorious Devon perhaps you would like to send your comments to {Email address removed}. I am sure all contributions will be gratefully received!!! My Mother has Alzheimers and I find the utmost difficulty relating this draft strategy to hers and my situation.


{Sorry, I believe the email address previously quoted here to be incorrect, so I have removed it. Please use the phone number instead - Sorry, Nada}
 

Jude

Registered User
Dec 11, 2003
2,287
66
Tully, Qld, Australia
Dear Brenda,

And the next question from us all will be 'What does this actually mean in REAL terms?'

One thing that I learnt very early on in running my small hotel was to ASK the staff before I changed anything. One has to get the information from the ground. We, as carers are the 'staff'.

There is little point in writing strategies if at the end of the day, they are totally meaningless and unworkable for the end users.

I am also confused about what they actually talking about here simply because I don't expect my parents to recover from AD. It is an incurable illness, isn't it?

Best wishes,

Jude
 
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Brenda

Registered User
Jul 21, 2004
15
Devon
Thank You Jude. I also was under the impression that my Mother will only deteriorate which so far is proving to be the case so I am surprised that the content of this strategy appears to contradict all previous thinking on Alzheimer's
 

Brenda

Registered User
Jul 21, 2004
15
Devon
my original post contains extracts from the draft which has been produced by the North Devon Primary Care Trust and the contact is Penny Clennel-White Mental Health Lead N Devon PCT Tel 01271 327779. My husband has spoken to our local branch of the Alzheimers Society who until then had no knowledge of this strategy but they do now
 

Jude

Registered User
Dec 11, 2003
2,287
66
Tully, Qld, Australia
Dear Brenda,

Let's hope that the AS can get their hands on a copy of the strategy and make recommendations before a whole lot of inappropriate stuff is produced.

Best wishes,

Jude
 

JoJo

Registered User
Sep 25, 2003
38
Shropshire
Dear Brenda etc

As someone who is paid to rewrite the sort of bunkum these people come out with I understand your frustration and at first sight was screaming in frustration at the computer!

But I re-read it and it seems there are talking about 'mental illness' as a whole. It could be depression, schizophrenia, paranoia etc which can, to some degree, be regarded as 'recoverable'

I agree that the local Alz Society should stress to these people that Alz and other forms of dementia are not 'recoverable' despite what a certain overpaid and badly briefed health minister may say.

JoJo
 

barraf

Registered User
Mar 27, 2004
308
Huddersfield
Dear Brenda
I have read your posting with a feeling of increduluous horror, who are these people who compile such rubbish? I have sent the followin email to Julie Havers.


Having read the above tract on the Alzheimer's talking point site, and noting that it is intended to cover Alzheimer's sufferers, I cannot reconcile the two statements.
All present day thinking and evidence is that there is no recovery from Alzheimer's disease only a decline. How can the thinking expressed in the tract be applied to an anyone with Alzheimer's?
It sounds to me as though whoever compiled this report has little or no first hand knowledge of anyone who has the disease. I would suggest that extensive consultation with actual carers is required before this type of thinking is applied to Alzheimer's sufferers, and then it won't be.
I have been caring for my wife now for five years and what is required for both patients and carers is medical and physical help, not high sounding phrases about recovery and self esteem and meaningful roles in society.
Yours faithfully
Frank Barraclough


Like you Brenda, as a carer I cannot believe that the outlined strategy can have any usful bearing on either patients or carers of Alzheimer's. It will be interesting to find others reactions.
barraf.
 

Mjaqmac

Registered User
Mar 13, 2004
939
I was under the impression that A/D is classed as a brain disease and not a mental illness. Recent findings have found that a waxy plaque grows over the brain and inhibits the cells' communication. (That is what I have read recently anyway!) so therefore A/D, dementia is not a "mental illness" and not curable, unless a medical miracle occurs soon. Let's hope!
 
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Jude

Registered User
Dec 11, 2003
2,287
66
Tully, Qld, Australia
Dear Jojo and Magic,

Spot on comments. So far as I'm aware, AD is regarded as a 'physical' degeneration of the brain cells and has nothing whatsoever to do with 'mental illness'.

Therefore this new policy should exclude AD sufferes entirely, since their illness does not even enter into the equation. If the people who are formulating this new policy assume that Ad sufferers are mentally ill, then they are completely ignorant of AD; its causes and effects and the incredible burden that carers shoulder every day. Why don't these so called professionals do their homework?

Back to the 'ask the staff' scenario.

Jude



I
 

Jude

Registered User
Dec 11, 2003
2,287
66
Tully, Qld, Australia
Dear Barraf,

Thank you for taking the time to write such a clear and concise letter in answer to this proposed policy. Such misinformation does a great deal of harm to AD sufferers and public perception of Altzheimer's Disease altogether.

I have never ever considered that my parents are 'mental' cases. Nobody on this Forum has ever suggested such a thing - or would do so, since we as carers have slightly more inside information on the subject.

Best wishes

Jude
 

barraf

Registered User
Mar 27, 2004
308
Huddersfield
Dear Brenda
I have had my email to Julie Havers returned twice by the mail administrator, say they cannot reach the computor to which it is addressed.
I have now sent it for a third time, Have you had any difficulty in reaching her? Or have you a snail mail address?
All the best
barraf
 

Brenda

Registered User
Jul 21, 2004
15
Devon
Hi I am sorry have been away and also had computer problems but in answer to Barraf we are still on the case and will see what we can do. In an earlier reply regarding mental or physical disease in reference to Alzheimer's we have found that it is very difficult to pin people down to make a decision under which heading AD should come under. As any one who is dealing with someone with this disease is aware that it is a physical disease which affects the mental capacity. I am also quite adamant with my own Mother that in no way is she mental.
 

Brenda

Registered User
Jul 21, 2004
15
Devon
Dear Barraf
address for Julie Havers :- julie.havers@ndevon.swest.nhs.uk or if this still doesn't work try 12 Boutport Street, Barnstaple, North Devon. EX31 1RW
sorry to have taken so long in replying life has a habit of getting in the way. My Mother is refusing as much help from her carers as is possible at the moment which ended up in her making a nice ham and blackcurrant jam sandwich for her lunch yesterday hey ho
 

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