Rethinking Dementia: An Australian Approach
Rethinking Dementia will not change the Bedlam-style institutions in which we as a generation are incarcerating those of our parents who live long enough, but it makes a valuable start in changing our thinking by pointing out that the ‘resident’s rights’ of which aged-care bureaucrats speak so fondly are totally undermined by the design, philosophy and staffing ratios of generic nursing homes.
By offering a new way of seeing and dealing with people with dementia, this book can help to make life easier and more pleasant for people with dementia (who make up between 60 and 80 per cent of nursing-home clientele) and for the staff who care for them, for whom this book is written.
The book challenges the medical model, which lumps all forms of dementia into one, defines it as a disease and turns almost all of its resources to the search for a ‘magic bullet’ cure, leaving those who are afflicted to endure the discomfort of eternal hospitalisation in nice new stainless steel nursing-home wards — those who are lucky enough, that is, to have pushy relatives who can keep them out of the urine-soaked older generation of nursing homes.
The model of care developed in this book is one of culturally accepted difference. It emphasises the value and abilities of people with dementia, instead of their disabilities. The chapter on communication, which draws on the author’s own experience with her dementing mother, has valuable insights for carers and family members
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- The nature of dementia
- The biomedical bases of dementia
- The psychological bases of dementia
- Stimulus and stress
- Dementia and communication
- New ways of seeing dementia
- The ELTOS model
- Establishing the right managerial environment
- The physical environment
- Providing stimulation in daily care
- Holistic care planning