By Elizabeth Landsverk, MD According to the World Health Organization, 47.5 million people worldwide are living with dementia, a number that is expected to more than triple by 2050. A diagnosis of...
“I think for the frail elder population, particularly those elders with dementia, all liquid ducosate (Colace) should be discontinued and replaced.”
By Elizabeth Landsverk, MD
Geriatricians are more likely to discuss end-of-life issues with patients and families and can help evaluate and make decisions about living situations, understanding the often subtle needs of an elder, not present in younger adults.
With my elders with dementia, it is often not so straightforward. Sometimes the symptom is that the person more is more agitated, aggressive or more lethargic. The person with dementia may not feel well, but not be able to communicate their symptoms. This is serious.
Here’s a recent horror story that may make the point: I had a patient with complicated medical issues who had a hip replacement operation. To my dismay, the hospital discharged this man to “assisted living.”
What is the ‘stigma’ associated with the diagnosis of dementia? How can we work to change this and help families and society at large understand that this is a brain disease and how to support those affected?