By David Sutcliffe.
Age Concern Books
ISBN 0 86242 283 3
Dementia provides a straightforward account of current thinking about
dementia and some care issues.
chapters about the range of conditions are easy to understand and thorough.
They acknowledge the complexity and the fact that each individual has their own
pathway through the illness.
remaining chapters cover care for people with dementia, activities and home
carers, concluding with a brief chapter about the future. There is a lot of
clear, good material such as the section on the pros and cons of institutional
and home care.
are two limitations of this book. One is an "us and them" flavour,
which creeps into the later chapters. The creativity of people with dementia is
ignored, for example. The other limitation is an almost total absence of doubt,
criticism and alternative views. For example, the assertion that "the body
may stay alive for many years after they themselves seem to have departed from
it," is highly debatable. Instead there is a sort of cheery optimism,
which can seem misplaced given the excruciating conflicts of interests that
occur and the intense ambivalence that care workers can experience.
Marshall is director, Dementia Services Development Centre, University of