Dementia diagnosis, how to uphold the dignity of the patient. | downtown-houston

Posted on January 13, 2013


Caregiver with Elderly womanAnyone who has had a serious medical condition knows that getting medical care can seem dehumanizing.  According to Webster’s dictionary dignity is defined as “the quality of being worthy of esteem or respect”.

It is important that members of the medical community, caregivers and family members work to uphold the dignity of the person with dementia.  A group of people with dementia have developed Principles for a Dignified Diagnosis based on their experiences and challenges.

Talk to me directly, the person with dementia. I am the person with the disease and I need to know first.

Tell the truth. Even if you don’t have all the answers, be honest about what you know and why you believe it to be so.

Test early. Helping me get an accurate diagnosis as soon as possible gives me more time to cope, plan and seek help.

Take my concerns seriously, regardless of my age. Don’t discount my concerns because I am old. At the same time, don’t forget that Alzheimer’s can affect people in their 40s, 50s and 60s.

Coordinate with other care providers.

Explain the purpose of different tests and what you hope to learn.

Give me tools for living with this disease. I need to know what will happen to me and what support is available.

Work with me on a plan for healthy living. Medication may help modify some of my symptoms, but I am also interested in keeping myself as healthy as possible.

Recognize that I am an individual and the way I experience this disease is unique.

Alzheimer’s is a journey, not a destination. Treatment doesn’t end with the writing of a prescription.

As part of the care team BrightStar understands that all patients have rights and we work with the rest of the care team and the family to provide the best care available in the least restrictive environment.  In almost every case, It is possible to age at home, even with dementia.

Talk to us about how we can work with you or your loved one stay in their home.

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