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PERSON with dementia is a whole PERSON

It was disappointing to read the anonymised letter in the Guardian last Monday where a concerned wife reported her frustration that the family GP is denying her husband access to more detailed investigation and services for possible diagnosis of dementia.

Both she and her husband are aware that he has been experiencing changes in cognition ‘in recent years’. Their GP has listened to the story, checked his score on the Mini-Mental State Schedule and concluded that he is OK: GPs need subtler tools to diagnose dementia | Dementia | The Guardian

But it seems that his wife was not included in the interview. Now that is not right. One of the things Dr Felix Post taught me was that in all matters of mental health, history comes first, and history of the presenting complaint comes from someone who knows the patient well. History from the patient is important, but is always influenced by changes in their mental health – and this certainly applies when someone may have dementia or something similar.

People have pointed this out: Diagnosing dementia needs a full picture | Dementia | The Guardian

During the week we were involved in Christians on Ageing online conference. This included a special session where Ines Delgado involved the attendees in an interactive musical session – Ines is a skilled violinist and uses her music in engagements with people of all sorts, including some with dementia. We were uplifted and transfixed. The power of music as therapy is confirmed in another article in the Guardian: Music has a magical power for people with dementia | Dementia | The Guardian

And the satisfaction of work using music in care homes confirmed with another: A moment that changed me: I played My Way to people with dementia. The effect – the sheer clarity – was like magic | Dementia | The Guardian

Whole people are affirmed by music


Each week we post a blog from David Jolley where he shares his personal views on relevant subjects.

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