The war against dementia: are we battle weary yet?

Dr Heather Lane is a PhD Candidate at the Centre for Palliative Care, St Vincent’s Hospital and Consultant Geriatrician, Eastern Health, Melbourne, Australia.

I have noticed expressions such as ‘fighting’ or ’battling’ dementia increasingly being used, not only in the popular media, but also in the medical literature.  These sort of military metaphors have long been used in medicine, particularly when referring to cancer. I work in a palliative care unit as well as in geriatric medicine and doing so has given me some opportunity to reflect on the importance of such terminology. In a recent Age and Ageing article I considered what we have learned about the use of such metaphors from palliative care and oncology and what effect they have on how we manage and support patients with dementia. Continue reading