Dienstag, 6. Januar 2015

A Provocative New Way To Think About Dementia

Just about everything you think you know about Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias is wrong. And because the conventional wisdom is so off-track, so are the ways we—both family members and professionals—respond to those with dementia.

That’s Dr. G. Allen Power’s provocative message. He wants us to stop thinking that people with dementia are victims of a terrible debilitating disease that destroys their memory and perception. Instead, Power argues, dementia is “a shift in the way a person experiences the world.”

In his new book Dementia Beyond Disease, Power argues that people with dementia are not psychotic or delusional. Rather, they see the world differently than others. Power’s goal is not to treat a disease. It is to improve the well-being of those who have it. And unlike drug therapies, which have been high-cost failures, Power identifies dozens of ways that may enhance the lives of those with dementia.

It is hard to overstate how radical this is. It turns the worldview of much of the Alzheimer’s establishment completely on its head. And it attempts to reframe how family caregivers (Power calls them partners) respond to their loved ones.

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