Community Care, 4 February 2010: Book review

Enriched Care Planning for People with Dementia

Hazel May, Paul Edwards, Dawn Brooker, Jessica Kingsley ISBN 9781843104056

The Bradford Dementia Group continues to produce excellent good practice guidelines to assist carers working with people with dementia, writes Joy Bounds.

Person-centred care starts with getting to know the person and their abilities, and here we have a series of practical measures that give carers the tools to ensure this happens, and keeps the person central to the process.

This jargon-free book describes a process for profiling, identifying and documenting the person’s health, cognitive, social and psychological needs, leading to an enhanced care plan. The belief is that every person can have a life with meaning if they have a supportive environment in which they can engage and experience relationships.

Although there are precise descriptions of the process, with useful templates, a balance is found between the mechanics of this and the benefits of successful engagement.

Much is familiar – life-story work, lifestyle, health, daily living skills – but some sections strike me as new. For example, the chapter “Capacity for doing” uses a simple model of acquiring or losing skills as a way of defining the person’s ability to engage or do.

Similarly, the chapter on cognitive ability helps carers recognise difficulties arising from areas of the brain damaged by dementia. Support needs can be identified based on a greater understanding of complex pro­cesses, clearly explained.

This book offers a way forward at a time when people with dementia are still being inappropriately treated with drugs.

Joy Bounds is a retired social worker

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