Should Dementia Be Accepted as a Disability to Help Restore Hope during Cognitive Decline?
The AMA Journal of Ethic, July 2017
Dementia is a common condition that impacts the patient, the family, and society. Currently, a diagnosis of dementia evokes hopelessness in the afflicted, and society provides few resources or systematic support for caregivers or for demented patients. In this commentary, we discuss the origins of hopelessness in dementia, the World Health Organization's six-stage framework of dementia care, and barriers to "normalizing" the experience of dementia in order to provide beneficent and humane care for patients with dementia. We also offer recommendations for clinicians who care for patients who feel that a life with dementia is not worth living.
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