The Mental Health Foundation report, What is Truth? An inquiry about Truth and Lying in Dementia Care examines and questions the different realities and beliefs a person with dementia may experience and when ‘non-truths’ may be justified to support their wellbeing and those of their families.
‘Truth-telling’ remains hugely important in terms of good communications. However, ‘untruths’, where they attempt to meet the person with dementia in their reality, can be seen as strategic therapeutic interventions in providing person-centred communication.
Rachel Thompson, Professional & Practice Development Lead from Dementia UK and member of the report’s inquiry panel, said:
It remains key to understand the experiences of a person with dementia and what they are trying to communicate. The more that is known about the life story, character and values of a person, the more likely it is to understand the meaning behind their experiences.
Truth and trust are very clearly linked and are the basis of forming and maintaining good relationships. Truth-telling should remain the starting point in communication and good quality care. However, ‘untruths’ can be used if it will limit distress for the person and if they have a therapeutic use.
Admiral Nurses use their specialist skills and expertise to support families and care professionals in how to respond when people with dementia express different realities.
Contact our Admiral Nursing Direct helpline