Dementia: Quality of Care 2016
- 08:30 - 16:30
- Manchester Conference Centre
Larry Gardiner was born in 1952 and has been investigated for memory disorders following a series of transient ischaemic attacks or TIAs. He is now making a good recovery from a more serious stroke that left him with temporary loss of both language and mobility. His consultants have shown him a picture of the infarct in his brain that caused a complete left side collapse and loss of the use of his arm and leg. Clinicians subsequently referred for a series of detailed and thorough assessments and investigations because of impairments, deficits and behaviours that made it impossible to continue with his demanding and responsible job.
A baseline evaluation and repeated assessments over a period of time have resulted in a description of mild cognitive impairment. Although the most prevalent types of dementia have been excluded it has not been possible to rule out incipient dementia of a less common type at this stage because some significant deterioration in functioning is evident. His lead consultant says that it is most unusual for a person to present with symptoms that do not fit a defined pattern. The prevalence of dementia increases with increasing age. Larry was therefore also first referred for psychiatric evaluation to investigate for more common functional disorders like depression or anxiety that are often found to produce memory disorders in people of working age. Young onset memory disorders are comparatively rare; because of this tentative diagnoses are not uncommon.
Larry is now part of the Social Care Institute for Excellence (SCIE) coproduction network. Professionals, care givers, people who use services and individuals with a range of lived experiences work alongside each other with equal status and shared decision making to produce and deliver very highly regarded services and materials. SCIE has been commissioned by NICE to coproduce a range of materials and guidance for professionals across the health and social care sector. Larry has recently been invited to celebrate the launch of an advocacy resource pack in connection with the government’s Care Act at the House of Lords.
He has also been asked to contribute to a series of SCIE Leadership Round Table events for chief executives and directors in businesses, public sector and voluntary sector organisations. Prior to this he served as a non executive director and as a charity trustee with Oxfordshire Advocacy.
Individuals who experience memory disorder symptoms at an early age are frequently working full time, have family responsibilities, they often have mortgages and other financial commitments in addition to being able to pursue a full range of other interests. Family members and loved ones struggle to understand the changes in behaviour which can drastically impact on relationships and which can also precipitate a catastrophic and disorderly collapse of their entire situation. Larry had three school age children at home when he lost his job. He subsequently lost his home, his savings and eventually his marriage collapsed too. He now lives alone in sheltered accommodation and has a personal care assistant to provide essential support.