This quote, via a comment to a recent blog by Steve A, is so very relevant to the last 60+ years of my life! Thanks Steve. By the late Maltese journalist Daphne Caruana Galicia a few months before she was assassinated in 2017 by a bomb detonated inside her car:
“There is something I should say before I go: when people taunt you or criticise you for being ‘ negative ‘ or for failing to go with their flow, for not adopting an attitude of benign tolerance, bear in mind always that they, and not you, are the ones who are in the wrong”
Who knows if I am right or if I am wrong about anything, except that I love my husband and sons and close friends, and of course, my cat, Mr. Boris!
The one thing I am sure of, is that if I get even an intuitive sense something is wrong or could be doing harm, or that there are injustices occurring, then I am always willing to speak up, and to debate it.
However, over the last few months, I have found I am much less able to debate verbally, especially ‘on the spot’ responses, due to the need for much more time to think things through and to find my words. This is especially so if someone verbally attacks me, in person or online, although at least online, I can choose to take my time to respond, or, not respond at all.
Most who read my blogs will know I have a hypothosis that BPSD has actually been a large part of the root cause of the overuse of antipsychotics, and also that we need to BanBSPD altogether.
Most responses people with dementia have are not due to the aetiology or pathology of dementia, and the notion that 90% are, needs urgent review. Watch this recent DAI Webinar if you disagree.
In 2017, Human Rights Watch released a report which uncovered how nursing homes in the US routinely give antipsychotic drugs to elderly residents to ‘control their behaviour’. Watch their video if you dont have time to read the report. Both are extremely sobering.
They have released a similarly damning report in Australia this year. It might ruin your day, or sleep, but they are important reports to read if you work in the sector, or have family in nursing homes. Also watch the video produced in the Australian context.
There has not been adequate investigation into how many antipsychotics are being presciribed to people living in the community, which also needs to come under the spotlight.
In the US, it has been done in spite of federal regulations prohibiting the practice of “chemical restraints.” The use of antipsychotics can increase the risk for heart failure, infections and double a patient’s risk of death. In many countries, there is also a Black Box warning against its use for people with dementia.
However, nursing homes use have been using these drugs without the consent of patients or their family, and to control and restrict behaviours of any kind, most often which are normal human responses. Human Rights watch say, it is not only illegal—it is cruel and degrading.
I also believe chemical and physical restraint is unlawful, and inhumane, and degrades the humanity and dignity of people with dementia.
However, with any differences of opinions, attacking someone for having a different view or opinion, or another way of doing something, is not respectful or kind.
Kindness is purposeful, voluntary action undertaken with sensitivity to the needs or desires of another person and actively directed toward fostering their well-being or flourishing.
Kindness is also more than helpful than you might think; it is clinically good for our health.