Yes @AliceA I watched it last night and I was particularly struck by the doctor who said 'we must stop wasting patients time' as that sentence rang true to me. My dad has been on palliative care for nine months now for his oesophageal cancer. He has been very well and pain free. He has had a couple of stents fitted so that he can eat and he eats well. No chemo, no radiotherapy. It was the best decision his oncologist could have made. He is happy and has far exceeded the time we expected him to have. She said they could not cure him and treatment would probably make him ill. At his last appointment she said that he was the perfect advert for non aggressive treatment for the elderly. I am thankful to her as it could have been so much worse.Did any of you see the programme by Kevin Fong a consultant anaesthetist on BBC2 last Wednesday 'We need to talk about death.' ?
It was very sensitively produced, he said although they could do so much medically the question was should they? Of course, the conditions were more physical but he said the treatments could cause more harm than good palliative care given early enough. The doctors involved all agreed that in many cases this did not shorten life but it gave better quality. This was a reference to cancer patients especially.
It stressed the need for us all to be more open about death in general. Especially in what we want for our selves.
Dementia often comes with other conditions, so wishes are not so clear cut. The importance that we tackle this early enough is apparent, it is also apparent that people do not.
I have just been reading a book of Elizabeth Kubler Ross's lectures complied after her death. She always spoke of 'unfinished' business. How important that the person who is ill is helped with any issues in their life.
So many cling on to life because of these.
She also suggests that Carers should make sure that they too deal with their unfinished business otherwise they project their own needs on the person in their care. This is aimed at doctors too, she reckoned this caused burn out.
(Physical burn out is something else)
I am a bit lost at this point but I do wonder if in the early stages of diagnosis, counselling was offered as a cost effective way of easing people into a new and frightening situation. Many behaviours in life are reactions to fear.
No less when we find ourselves in a strange country of brain illnesses with little knowledge, experience and a society in denial. The hours Carers work, are on call, surely contravenes the Slave Act. It is not help by lack of support, a lack of a listening ear, a lack of respite. I can hear the cry of Funding but look after the pennies and the pounds look after theirselves. (I could get political with a small p now but I will not!)
I do read of so many heartbreaking stories on here and there seems scant support in the society surrounding them.
Sadly dad is now in hospital recovering from pneumonia which seems to have advanced his dementia and it is possible that he may not be able to return home but I am very glad that he has had the last nine ,months of being happy and well.