Rachel Manners is a speciality doctor in hospital based complex continuing care in Edinburgh. She is a particular interest in end of life care and in complex dementia care. Her twitter handle is @RachelMannes1 (due to an unfortunate spelling incident that she cannot figure out how to fix!).
Journeying beyond questions of how and why disease happen; to considering what they truly mean in the lives of individuals is one of the great challenges of clinical practice. Dementia brings out this challenge particularly strongly given the questions it raises about not only what it means to think and remember, but what it means to be. That is it to say, it forces the practitioner to consider what it truly means to be a person. For those of us who work with and for those who live with dementia (or experience it in our personal lives) these are important questions. My own practice in recent years has led me to wonder not only what I have to offer people with dementia, but also to begin to consider what they have to teach and offer me .
Thinking about these ideas, I came to the book ‘Memory’s last breath: field notes on my dementia’ to help me develop my understanding. This is the autoethnographic study of Gerda Saunders’ journey with and into dementia. Continue reading