Lecturer, trainer, international author and educator who focuses on dementia care. Her work, firmly grounded in person-centred and relationship-centred approaches to dementia, emerges from over 25 years of professional work and research with people with dementia. This includes a PhD which focused on the barriers to person-centred care in dementia. Heather first came in contact with people with dementia in 1985 in her role as a dance-movement therapist. Through her workshops and interactions with patients, staff members and family members she observed that people with dementia often functioned much better and seemed more alive in the dance session than in the everyday life in the home. This led her to question why, and whether such improved functioning and sense of wellbeing could be facilitated in the everyday world of care. These observations and her passion to understand how one might meet the challenges posed by dementia led Heather to undertake a PhD in person- centred care. As a result of her doctoral research, she developed a rigorous understanding of dementia, the benefits of person-centred care, the barriers to this type of practice in dementia care, and the ways to overcome these barriers. Through her studies and her practical experience as a therapist, she has also come to recognise the importance of relationships for all concerned... the person with dementia, professional and family carers and the care organisation as a whole.
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