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.
- 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