‘’DAY TO DAY LIFE DEMENTIA AND LIVING ON DEATH’’ (Preparing for a peaceful end of life with no burden to others)
Posted on February 2nd, 2023

Sarath Wijesinghe President’s Counsel, former Ambassador to UAE and Israel, President of Ambassadors’ Forum, Solicitor in England and Wales

Life is uncertain – yet care is needed before death

Life is uncertain compared to a drop of water on the grass. But the desire of every living being is to live at least a few minutes more before death. The desire of the loved ones around his death bed is to make him alive even for a few minutes. Caregivers are those who have the strength, capacity, and desire, to look after their loved ones called caterers as caregivers are now established profession professional standards and substantial remunerations available worldwide. Caregivers may be voluntary, partially or fully paid by the state or on a personal basis depending on the capacity of the person cared for and loved ones who bear expenses. This profession/practice is well established in the west and on par with the nurses who are differently trained at institutions and universities when caregivers have a different path to qualify which is available in Sri Lanka in private institutions one can locate from the net. Today caregiving is a lucrative profession with a substantial income which is a profession in demand provided they are trained and proficient in languages and manners with proper training. Animals including humans need love and care, cared by those who are competent and desire to help another or rather each other in need of assistance. Puppies are cared for by the mother dog who will provide care until they are able to be independent.  In the human kingdom, caregiving is organized according to a system and based on professional standards in different jurisdictions, unfortunately not in Sri Lanka to the expected standards. Great religions prevalent in Sri Lanka and the United Kingdom moot and encourage caregiving and helping the sick and disabled that need assistance, which is well rooted and recognized the world over. Caregiving is voluntary and/or spontaneous that needs professional experience and kindness. But in the present, busy fast, and committed society even the second generation finds it difficult to find time and facilities to care for their loved parents and the system has thought of modem techniques that are prevalent in the west which is now found in Sri Lanka as professional caregiving establishments, managed by the state as well as private individuals and companies. There are full-time and daycare centers in the west with plans to set up in Sri Lanka too to assist and look after loved ones. It is advisable to plan out the future when you are fit and the duty of the loved ones is to make professional and legal arrangements to proceed to take especially steps nearing death which is an emotional and difficult job. The state has a duty if not at least managing such care homes at least to supervise and monitor the proper functioning of such organizations which unfortunately not happening.   Power of attorney, advanced statements, wills, advanced decisions, and difficult decisions taken by the patient and the loved ones as precautionary measures at or near death that will reach one day by anybody. The monitoring process should be functioned by the ministries of health and social services in Sri Lanka, which do not have a good reputation as efficient unlike the ministries in the UK where these systems are effectively efficient and properly supervised. National Health  Service (NHS) in the UK is one of the most vibrant and successful medical systems in the world with the use of a ‘’ MEGA COMPUTER’’ covering the entire country (UK) and providing a General Physician to every citizen free of charge including treatments medicines and hospital facilities. NHS supervises the private medical system as well as the caregiving sector which is an ideal model for us to follow as other areas we have been imported from the UK. Sri Lankans are unable to follow the system due to a lack of funds to run such a system.


 We have chosen dementia as a main topic today when it is spreading fast in UK and Europe despite lot of studies research, precautions, and preventive measures, taken universally applicable including Sri Lanka. Dementia is spreading worldwide fast with not many forms of treatments available. Life to death from the time of the Alzheimer’s is only 4 to 8 years and it is the duty of the caregiver and loved ones to give maximum comfort and happiness to the patients during the sickness. Therefore it is good to organize a proper aftercare system and to organize a proper caring regime at all levels. In Sri Lanka, there are some organized caregiving training centers, and training is not properly organized and monitored. The elderly and retired entitle to a better evening of life and a pleasant life before death they are entitled to the sacrifice made to the community and their dependents. Now that we are now an advanced society with high standards of education and computer literacy (110%) mobile penetration in Sri Lanka in hand and nearly 60% IT literacy which is credible indeed. There is a network of private nursing homes and caregiving centers which are not very cheap to the common man yet those who are covered with insurance and a substantial penton can have access to few such institutions. Readers of this article are advised to browse the net to identify the caregiving institutions and training centers to find caregiving centers and training opportunities for you to be trained as caregivers which is going to be a very lucrative profession abroad if properly trained with language skills. The life span of dementia patients is limited which is prevalent worldwide among rich and poor limiting the life span and expectancy. In Japan, it is 84.3, in Switzerland 84, in South Korea 83.13 Singapore 82and Spain 83.2 whereas in Sri Lanka it is 73.31, yet the number of dementia patients is substantial in developed countries as well. It is Slovenia, Solomon’s Islands, South Arica South Korea, Spain, and Sri Lanka in order of the chart. It is a difficult disease to cure with no proper medication that worries the loved ones looking after the patients.

 Living with dementia

Human life and body are complicated and lives with millions of sickness and conditions. Dementia is one of the conditions the human body is confronted with based on certain conditions unknowingly beyond its control only physicians can diagnose Over 8,50,000  people in the UK currently with dementia. Most are over 65, but it Is also becoming more communing those aged 50 or over. The Alzheimer’s Society estimates that the number of sufferers will rise to over a million by 2025, with one person developing the disease every three minutes. United Kingdom has the most advanced and professional National Health Service offered to every citizen free with a separate GP (general physician) to every citizen giving thought to you the conditions in other parts of the world which indeed is worrying. If one is careful and leads a happy and comfortable life he can conveniently extend the life span. Living happily and music reading and engaging himself is good for the patient to send satisfactory messages to the brain.

What is dementia?

Dementia is a disorder of mental processes caused by brain disease or injury. It is a persistent and progressive condition meaning that it gets worst over time and eventually affects every aspect of a person’s life. The word dementia describes several different conditions affecting the brain including ‘ Alzhemar’s ‘disease ‘frontotemporal’ dementia and vascular dementia. While it is important to remember that everyone’s experience of dementia is different what they have in common are a number of recognized similarities and symptoms followed. It is a disease that cannot be cured yet if the patient is kept happy and friendly he may live the short stay happy. There are drugs on the market but not for a permanent cure.

We have discussed only dementia as it is one of the main diseases at the forefront, especially in the west gradually spreading the world over. It is necessary and appropriate for the Health and Social services ministers and ministries to intervene in regularizing this field that needs regulations and monitoring as in other countries. There are few quality caregiving institutions and mostly mushrooms in Sri Lanka the state has to be careful about. The state must explore the avenues of tanning caregivers for Sri Lanka and abroad that has a growing demand with the availability of the Sri Lankan working population awaiting for foreign employment.


Is one of the most difficult subjects to discuss, but establishing an open and honest dialogue is one of the best ways to help people to come to terms with the impending death of the loved one. Talking about death or a death of a loved one can be painful However with the people we trust it can help enormously. Both practically well as emotionally. It is a relief for the patient to settle the loved ones with his wealth and possessions and power of attorney and a last will be an appropriate proposition. Documentation should be legal and binding for the peace of the patient and the loved ones to make all happy for a happy ending and to be realistic that this is the plight of anybody one day. But when one is conscious that he will die one day anyway is easy for all parties to bear the sorrow, of parting with loved ones.

Carer Caregiving and caregivers /concept and avenues to explore for Sri Lanka and Sri Lankans

This is an excellent concept and an opportunity for Sri Lankan who are educated and willing to explore foreign employment with their knowledge of IT and other skills and it is time for the government to intervene and interfere in this matter to train and find opportunities with the private sector currently awaiting for new ventures and avenues. It is ideal to identify the leaders in the private sector on caregiving and set up joint operations and also to give a bit more life and rejuvenate the employment bureaux not a popular institution modern efficient and honest. The report we receive on the employment bureaux and the political interferences is worrying and it is time to clean it up and modernize the golden hen without allowing natural death.

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