People who develop dementia should be informed of their illness
so they can take steps to adapt their lives and plan for the
future, according to a new report from the Mental Health
The report is based on a study by the University of Stirling
which says all 24 people interviewed welcomed being told about the
diagnosis of dementia. The news was difficult to accept, but the
benefits outweighed the limitations.
The foundation has recommended GPs make a diagnosis as early as
possible and that practitioners recognise that people have a right
to know even if it causes them distress. Services should work
collaboratively, using consistent terminology, so that each person
receives clear information, says the report.
At present there is no clear policy on disclosure, and studies
have found GPs reluctant to tell patients of the diagnosis of
Ruth Lesirge, chief executive of the Mental Health Foundation,
said: “People must be given the opportunity to consider what lies
ahead and make provision for a time when they may not be able to
make their wishes known.”
‘Tell Me the Truth’ available from 020 7535 744.