Book review: Caring for People with Learning Disabilities who are Dying

New Asset  

Caring for People with Learning Disabilities who are
Noelle Blackman & Stuart Todd,
Worth Publishing
ISBN 1903269172, £6
Available from Welsh Centre for Learning Disabilities: 02920 691


This short handbook is aimed at support staff in learning
difficulties services. The authors have translated their academic
expertise into a compassionate and thoughtful work which will help
any staff team supporting a terminally ill person,
writes Mandy Johnson.

The book strikes a balance between useful information, and
sensitive analysis of tough questions, such as in supporting people
to grasp their diagnosis.

Spirituality in its widest sense is included, and how staff can
ensure people’s final phase of living reflects their wishes.

The book continually encourages staff to look outside the service
and think about their relationships with the dying person’s family;
and the importance of making links with other bereavement services
such as the charity Cruse. A useful resource list is also

It would have been useful to mention situations where the person
cannot understand or consent to medical treatment; or may refuse
attempts at treatment. Staff may need support, and clarity on the
law in this area.

Mandy Johnson is a social worker in Hampshire

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