Introduction and rationale
Communication is the sharing of information and it is needed to confirm our identity and our individualism. Allan and Killick (2008, p.212) describe the relationship we have with others in “As social animals, we conduct our lives in the context of relationships which rely on communication”. A person with dementia can often be excluded from the communication process through many internal or external barriers. Systems may overlook their potential abilities and labels can pre-determine an outcome.
This case study will focus on the experience of Marjorie and her family (pseudonyms). Marjorie is 90 years old and she has one daughter called Susan. Marjorie had a Cerebro-Vascular Accident (C.V.A) in early 2011 and was admitted into hospital. When she was physically fit to be discharged the decision was made for her to enter a dementia care home and her family were asked to find a suitable placement. Prior to this the family had little involvement in the day to day activities of Marjorie, Susan, the daughter having left the area over ten years previously.
Marjorie arrived from the hospital with a biomedical assessment of the care that she needed to sustain her physical needs. There was no evidence in her assessment that supported her emotional well-being. The information on the assessment detailed the word finding problems she experienced, it was documented that the aphasia was due to the damage that had occurred in her brain. One vital form of communication is language. The term aphasia is used to describe word finding difficulties that are a typical feature of people with vascular dementia (Allan and Killick, 2008, p. 215).
... middle of paper ...
... two way conversations and with either model is not easy to suggest total reliance of understanding as it remains reliant on the understanding of the receiver. Kitwood (1993) recognises how a person with insight into their own experiences are often able to share a greater communicative interchange with another and that often other gestures previously ignored now become clear. It seems that as any failure of any system to acknowledge the exchange of information would lead to a limited view of the potential communication ability of a person with dementia and not be conducive to a feeling of wellbeing. Yet hospitals base assessments and care plans within a rigid biomedical framework ,they do not consider the communication abilities of a person, as demonstrated by the documentation that was received with Marjorie from her discharging ward.
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