Dementia: Walking not Wandering. Fresh Approaches to Understanding and Practice
Edited by Mary Marshall and Kate Allan,
STAR RATING: 4/5
This book is written primarily for those who care for people with dementia, focusing on the symptom commonly known as “wandering”, writes Ruth Molloy.
Divided into 10 chapters, it looks at all different aspects of dementia, wandering and walking. Contributors include professionals in the field, carers, individuals who live with dementia, as well as enthusiastic walkers. It also uses art, photography and poetry to demonstrate the issues and challenge the reader, while helping to retain their interest.
While considering the positive aspects and experiences of walking, it intersperses these among the theoretical and research-based findings, challenging the medical model perspective of wandering.
The authors investigate the theories of wandering and good practice surrounding its management, offering practical advice and solutions. Case studies are used to demonstrate positive aspects of wandering and walking and its safe management.
This, then, is a celebration of walking, offering an interesting and challenging perspective on an accepted symptom of dementia. It may be comforting to those with family members who wander, and stimulating to professionals who care for those who demonstrate symptoms.
The book would be more likely to be read by its intended audience if it was more succinct. But for those with an interest in physical activity and mental health, and the social causes of challenging behaviour, it is certainly an interesting and thought-provoking read.
Ruth Molloy is senior health promotion specialist at Bolton Primary Care Trust