Dementia patients ‘should be given will advice’

Patients with dementia should be provided with appropriate advice to organise their estate, a scientific adviser to the British Geriatrics Society has asserted.

Dr Alasdair MacLullich has suggested that patients diagnosed with dementia are often not provided with the same advice and support as cancer patients and others, despite the fact that their condition could result in shorter life expectancy.

He was speaking to the Herald following the commencement of a consultation by the General Medical Council (GMC) into how well equipped the NHS is to deal with dementia sufferers.

Dr MacLullich stated: "It’s peculiar that this [will advice] is almost never done with dementia patients. And it’s a shame, as people can be left bewildered."

The GMC is working with the Alzheimer’s Society, the Scottish Dementia Working Group (SDWG) and Age Concern to create workshops where all involved can discuss their views on the diagnosis and treatment of dementia.

Earlier this month, Alzheimer’s Scotland published a new report, which focused on the growing number of people affected by dementia in Scotland and set out those strategies necessary to manage the increase identified.