I gave a talk last week to a group of folks in the insurance industry. Usually the only thing you hear about this crowd is that they are out to deny claims. But this group was very thoughtful and just might be part of the shift in the way we think about dementia. Rather than look at cognitive impairment as a death sentence, they are starting to explore how it might be shifted toward a model of disability – how people might stay in the workforce instead of being pushed out completely. It’s certainly worth a look, since the numbers of those diagnosed at earlier ages and stages is growing.
It also reminded me of the article by Don Moyer, Jenny Knauss and Renee Beard about looking at dementia as a disability to be managed.
Beard, R.L., Knauss, J. & Moyer, D. (under review) How we manage our disability and enjoy life: Reframing dementia through narratives with those who live with it, Journal of Ageing Studies.