"For some years now, Tom Kitwood's work on dementia care has stood out as the most important, innovative and creative development in a field that has for too long been neglected. This book is a landmark in dementia care; it brings together, and elaborates on, Kitwood's theory of dementia and of person-centred care in an accessible fashion, that will make this an essential source for all working and researching in the field of dementia care."
-Robert Woods, Professor of Clinical Psychology, University of Wales
"Over the last ten years or so Tom Kitwood has made a truly remarkable contribution to our understanding of dementia, and to raising expectations of what can be achieved with empathy and skill. This lucid account of his thinking and work will communicate his approach to a yet wider audience. It is to be warmly welcomed."
-Mary Marshall, Director of the Dementia Services Development Centre, University of Stirling
* What is the real nature of the dementing process?
* What might we reasonably expect when dementia care is of very high quality?
* What is required of organizations and individuals involved in dementia care?
Tom Kitwood breaks new ground in this book. Many of the older ideas about dementia are subjected to critical scrutiny and reappraisal, drawing on research evidence, logical analysis and the author's own experience. The unifying theme is the personhood of men and women who have dementia - an issue that was grossly neglected for many years both in psychiatry and care practice.
Each chapter provides a definitive statement on a major topic related to dementia, for example: the nature of 'organic mental impairment', the experience of dementia, the agenda for care practice, and the transformation of the culture of care.
While recognizing the enormous difficulties of the present day, the book clearly demonstrates the possibility of a better life for people who have dementia, and comes to a cautiously optimistic conclusion. It will be of interest to all professionals involved in dementia care or provision, students on courses involving psychogeriatrics or social work with older people, and family carers of people with dementia.
* One of the few attempts to present the whole picture.
* Very readable - many real-life illustrations.
* Offers a major alternative to the 'medical model' of dementia.
* Tom Kitwood's work on dementia is very well known