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Responding to Dementia




This chapter focuses upon the person with dementia, rather than the disease as an entity. Many of the problems associated with dementia arise from the negative perceptions which our society has about the disease. We become so focused upon the loss of mental functioning, that we fail to recognise the extent to which many personal resources and abilities survive, and we do not look for the new abilities which may arise as a positive element in dementia. Because we commonly see dementia as a ‘disease’ which is driven by damage to brain tissue, we fail to recognise the major ways in which it is shaped by the physical and social environment in which the affected person happens to be living. We are also likely to focus upon any personality changes which occur and to ignore the essential continuity of the person’s lifetime patterns.


Contents include

  • What is dementia?
  • The individual person
  • The carer
  • The role of the community aged services professional
  • Principles in developing a care plan
  • The practical care plan
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Author / Editor Biographies

RN, RM, DipAppSc (CH, M&CH), BAppSc (Advanced Nursing), MA (Education) and FCNA.
Theresa Cluning has worked in many roles within acute hospitals, residential care, community health, community case management, academia and management. Her colleagues have become her friends, and as she believes she never stops learning from others, she acknowledges the support and the sharing of knowledge she has received in every area she has worked. She says her story is typical of baby-boomer generation nurses. She began her hospital training in the 1960s and since then has nursed in hospitals, aged care facilities and community settings. Theresa has always enjoyed grass roots nursing pra...
Elery Hamilton-Smith is visiting Fellow, Lincoln Gerontology Centre, La Trobe University, Melbourne, and Director of Rethink Consulting Pty Ltd. He has 45 years' experience in social research and social planning, having worked at the community level, then as a social planning consultant across some 25 countries and eventually as a member of the Leisure Studies Department at Preston, later Phillip, Institute of Technology, then RMIT University. He has wide-ranging interests in social policy and social development, and has been a visiting professor at many universities in North America and Europ...

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