Edited by Bere Miesen and Gemma Jones
£50 (hardback) £19.99 (paperback)
ISBN 0415 138442 (hardback)0415 138450 (paperback)
This is the second volume edited by Miesen and Jones on dementia
care. In a book of 21 chapters, some are inevitably better than
The chapters on informal care, written from a Dutch perspective,
do not add much to the UK literature and lack contextual
understanding of the changes in UK legislation with regard to
carers. It is also disappointing that while there are two chapters
devoted to cultural difference, this is mentioned only in relation
to ethnicity, while other cultural influences receive little, if
any mention outside these chapters.
On a positive note, Kitwood's chapter on 'personhood' provides a
message to be heard by all providers of care, wherever and with
whomever they work. Mills demonstrates the importance of
maintaining personal narratives and responding to the emotional
content of memories.
Van der Plaat's chapter on the concept of homeostasis in
dementia care includes the pertinent point that the person with
dementia needs to learn how to manage the experience of dementia.
Werner's discussion of ethical issues provides a useful theoretical
and practical contribution.
The theme of the importance of the person permeates the book and
thus, to me, the terms 'demented elderly', 'demented patient',
'sufferer' and 'victim' struck a discordant note, notwithstanding
the editors' explanation that they will 'make do with these' terms
until something more satisfactory can be found.
Surely, if we are to promote inclusion, language has to avoid
categorising people as 'sufferers' or 'victims', or giving
precedence to the diagnosis - demented - over the person.
All in all, this is a book to consult, rather than a core
Cherry Rowlings is professor of social work, University of