Our first published Letter to the Editor, promoting the continuation of the campaign to ban the false construct known as BPSD (Behavioural and Psychological Symptoms of Dementia). A few years ago, Professor Dawn Brooker started a group called “GAP in Dementia Care”, which consisted of a large group of academics, dementia professionals and included people with dementia who have the lived experience. Many from this last group of members (people with dementia) also have extensive knowledge about dementia, well beyond our experiences of being diagnosed, but have the added ‘benefit’ of knowing what it is really like to live with dementia from the inside out.
As a past nurse who has worked in aged and dementia care, and someone who has been a family care partner to people who have died from dementia, I thought I knew a lot… How wrong was I!
But I digress… I wanted to explain that three members from the original GAP in Dementia Care group (myself, Daniella Greenwood and Dr Al Power) had brought up the idea that BPSD is doing more harm than good, and is a false construct. There was a LOT of pushback against this back then, and eventually, the discussion died. The GAP in Dementia Care group has been very silent since the late Peter Ashleigh’s death, as he was one of the key drivers behind the IT and website, but a few of us have re-engaged in trying to make positive change for people with dementia, starting with a campaign to ban BPSD. You can see who we are, listed in the Letter to the Editor below recently published in the Australian Journal of Dementia Care.