The Campaign to ban the medical model of BPSD, the Behavioural and Psychological Symptoms of Dementia, raises awareness of the need to move from the medical model of Dementia care to the social model, moving from treating the symptoms to treating the cause.
It looks for new and innovative approaches to Dementia and aged care philosophies and practices.
Removing the medical model, removes the pathway to chemical and physical restraint, sectioning, involuntary care and segregation, which leads to disengagement.
It also removes the stigmatising label of BPSD and moves to compassionate care based on Human Rights, including The United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD)
Embracing the social model leads to a pathway that looks at the individual and treats the causes and symptoms, through things like assessments and interventions, treating the symptoms and unmet needs by providing support, services and coping strategies, enabling the person to be engaged with life and their carer/family live within their community, reduce stigma and reduce Hospital admissions for as long as possible.
In saying all of this, I do understand that prescribing Risperidone, which is the only anti-psychotic medication licensed in the UK for Dementia, may benefit some with any chronic terminal disease, however, imagine the outcry if all the support and services were removed and a similar pathway to BPSD was applied to people living with cancer.
It should not be seen as the treatment of choice for professionals, rather coming at the end of a list of assessments to see if other interventions and coping strategies may benefit the person and their carer/family.
For too long, healthcare systems worldwide have used the medical model of healthcare to treat the symptoms for the benefit of big pharma and to the detriment of the person, rather than assess the causes and deal with them.
The number of people involved in this campaign is growing worldwide and as the number grows, so does it’s voice and I am proud to be involved myself.