Awareness in dementia patients and family grieving: a practical perspective
INTRODUCTION The first section of this chapter presents the concept of 'awareness-context' (AC), introduced by Glaser and Strauss (1965) in dying patients. It also occurs in dementing patients. It appears that Senile Dementia Alzheimer Type (SDAT) patients remain involved in their situation much longer than researchers have assumed before. From the AC perspective various dementia symptoms, particularly the secondary symptoms, can be considered as normal reactions of the sufferer to the experience of powerlessness, discontinuity and feeling unsafe, displaced, separated and isolated. From a psychological view SDAT can be understood as a chronic brain trauma which causes potential psychotrauma in the sufferer (Miesen, 1995b).