Advocacy for Persons with Senile Dementia

  • Nancy C. Paschall
Part of the Contemporary Issues in Biomedicine, Ethics, and Society book series (CIBES)


In its classic sense, advocacy means to call to one’s aid or to summon to one’s assistance. Individuals with senile dementia of the Alzheimer’s type (SDAT) have a special need for help in asserting their rights, a need that stems from three sources not dissimilar to those which also affect clients of mental health services (Kopolow, 1982). First of all, the nature of the illness itself makes it difficult for them to articulate their needs effectively. Secondly, the stigma attached to being a SDAT patient can lead to a tendency on the part of others to prejudge the capacity of patients and to underrate both their ability to function outside of an extremely controlled environment, and their ability to make decisions for themselves. Another stigma-related problem is the low priority given to patient concerns, simply because they are patients. Far too often, their wishes are denigrated, ignored, or treated as the ramblings of children who do not really know what is good for them.


Mental Health Senile Dementia Geriatric Ward Competent Decision Questionably Competent 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Notes and References

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Copyright information

© The Humana Press, Inc. 1985

Authors and Affiliations

  • Nancy C. Paschall

There are no affiliations available

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