LETTER: A fine line between caring and interference

The necessity for community involvement in dealing with people who have been diagnosed with dementia.

Re: Advocates eye bridging gap in community care (News, Jan. 9)

I was pleased to read Andrea Peacock’s article regarding the necessity for more community involvement in dealing with people who have been diagnosed with dementia.

This is particularly necessary in a condominium where everyone else can be adversely affected by increasingly unusual behaviour of a resident.

It is also true that many baby boomers moving into the senior years are living alone and family are often far away and may not even know of the diagnosis.

In my experience working with dementia patients, they, in the early stages, can present quite well and one would not suspect anything out of the ordinary unless one sees them often enough to recognize the changes.

I would certainly like to see a forum presented on this issue as I suspect this applies to many condo owners in particular.

While it may be a fact that strata managers cannot go into a unit unless one smells smoke or sees water under the door or on the ceiling of the unit below, that would be a situation of more advanced dementia where medical authorities can be called in.

Prior to this stage there are many small incidents while not particularly alarming in themselves, leave those around the patient, uneasy, wanting to help and not knowing how especially when the patient thinks he is perfectly alright and doesn’t need help.

There’s such a fine line between compassionate caring and interference.

Marg Ryan, Victoria