Communication Vignettes: Talking About Death in Dementia

Helen Scott

  • Abstract

    In this issue of the journal, Julie Watson highlights how people with dementia often become depersonalised. As dementia progresses, carers may stop seeing the human being behind the condition, attributing all behaviour to pathology. However, despite behavioural change and loss of cognitive function, people who have dementia retain their sense of uniqueness and individuality (Sabat, 2001, 2010). Although dementia may strip away memories and coherent verbal communication, it does not take away feelings, such as shame, embarrassment, pride, happiness, empathy, fear, anxiety, or the sense of being burdensome (Sabat, 2001).

  • Contributors

    Helen Scott


    Correct at article publish date

    Helen Scott is a palliative care nurse and Editor, End of Life Journal. Email:

    Original publishing information

    • Publisher: St Christopher's Hospice
    • Publish date: 01/01/2013
    • Volume: 3
    • Issue: 1

    Permissions: © 2015, Published by the BMJ Publishing Group Limited. For permission to use (where not already granted under a licence) please go to

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