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

    New Asset  

    Caring for People with Learning Disabilities who are
    Dying
    Noelle Blackman & Stuart Todd,
    Worth Publishing
    ISBN 1903269172, £6
    Available from Welsh Centre for Learning Disabilities: 02920 691
    795

    STAR RATING: 4/5

    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
    included.

    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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