Wednesday, April 4, 2012

UK Call For Better Palliative Care

Here’s a very poignant story from the UK about a father’s slide into Alzheimer’s disease, and the urgent need for good palliative care.
How could any carer scold an old man just for doing up his buttons wrongly? Arlene Phillips recalls her father's death from dementia
Alzheimer's reduced my father Abraham, an intelligent, smart and self-sufficient man, to a pitiful shell of a human being.
Almost the last sentence he ever articulated was: ‘I’ve lived my life now. I just want to curl up in the woods and go to sleep.’ This was how he expressed his  frustration and desolation with a life that, in the end, held no purpose.
He no longer recognised my sister and me. Simple words eluded him. Although he had always loved to read, the written word became a mystery to him. All that remained of his humanity, in truth, was his stubbornly beating heart.
It was sorrowful that my sister and I should have seen him so reduced — to the extent that I now think Dignitas would have been the right option for him. It sounds drastic, but it would have spared him that final slide into emptiness and bewilderment. more

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