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Understanding Dementia


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Table of Contents

Part 1: Contemporary Attitudes. 1. The creation and re-creation of Alzheimers disease. 2. The present formulation of dementia. 3. The implications of the organic model. 4. The limitations of the organic model. 5. Therapeutic disdain - therapy, therapists and people with dementia. Part 2: Constructing a Psychological Model of Dementia. 6. Introducing the person-focused approach: what is it like to be a person diagnosed as having dementia? 7. The person in context: the role of psychological and social factors in dementia. 8. A model of the mind in dementia and of levels of severity. 9. The emotional world of dementia sufferers. 10. Managing the process of loss. Part 3: Applying the Person-Focused Approach to Psychological Interventions and Services for People with Dementia. 11. Psychological interventions: An introduction and basic principles. 12. The assessment of people who may have dementia. 13. Therapeutic interventions: Increasing emotional security. 14. Identity work: holding on to who we are. 15. Changing systems of service delivery. Part 4: Looking to Our Future. 16. Obstacles to change. 17. Producing change: A restless farewell. References. Index.

Promotional Information

A psychological framework to help clients with dementia be better understood

About the Author

Richard Cheston is a Research Fellow at the Department of Psychology at the University of Bath and a consultant clinical psychologist in the Avon and Western Wiltshire Mental Health Care Trust. Michael Bender is a consultant clinical psychologist and Head of Psychological Services to Older Adults in Plymouth Community Services NHS Trust.


Understanding Dementia: The Man with the Worried Eyes is an ambitious undertaking which the authors have pulled off with considerable success. Their aim is to consider dementia comprehensively and to give the reader the tools to become independently critical of what they have been told about dementia... The focus here is on dementia as a process that erodes an individual's sense of identity and security, affecting their ability to process information - to think and to respond, rather than solely to remember... There are lots of inspiring examples from practice, both the authors' own work and others'... This book provides a thorough look at all the stages of the training process, and is a good checklist of the complex variety of tasks and skills involved... Understanding Dementia could be used as a textbook. It is clearly argued and logically set out with useful summaries at the end of each chapter. -- Ageing and Society The authors believe that the key task is to try and understand the world through the eyes of the person with dementia, which is acknowledged as a challenging and often painful process for all concerned. People with dementia are seen as capable of emotional growth and change as long as their environment supports this... This is an excellent book for students of all disciplines and for clinicians, like me, who have been working in the field for some time. It is clearly laid out and divided into sections on contemporary attitudes, constructing a psychological model of dementia, applying a person-focused approach to psychological interventions, and looking to our future. -- Therapy Weekly This is the best book on dementia that I have ever read. In it two clinical psychologists develop a coherent theory concerning the reactions and management of people with dementia. Put simply their theme is that the neuro-pathological changes within the brains of people with Alzheimer's disease may be the same, but the ways in which people react to their problems are different. The message is focus on the person, not on the disease... Developing their theme of a mind-body partnership, Cheston and Bender rightly draw attention to the work of others, especially Tom Kitwood, in paving the way for their work. Who knows, perhaps their names will one day be on everyone's lips, for the synthesis they make in this book heralds a new dawn. The more I read the more I enjoyed reading it... I can see Cheston and Bender's book playing an important role in establishing the future pattern of education in many fields of medicine, psychology and social work. -- Community Care The book analyses dementia from the perspective of the person who develops the disease and, using case histories, illustrates the emotional world of dementia sufferers, the feelings and particularly the sense of loss and fear experienced as the disease progresses. They propose new approaches to assessment and therapeutic interventions which, up to now, have rarely been applied in cases of dementia. They suggest changes in service delivery systems to make them more sensitive to dementia service users and their carers including more and better training of staff and service evaluations sensitive to the impact of care from the perspective of service users. Social workers would be comfortable with the values and ethics incorporated in the authors' approach. -- Irish Social Worker This excellent text aims to provide professionals or interested parties with an understanding of dementia in the context of today's ageing society. Overall this book is well laid out, the language succinct and each chapter informative and easy to read. Evidently the authors have a wealth of knowledge and experience in dealing with people with dementia and their families. The sections of this book range from the very recent history of dementia to all current thinking surrounding this illness. The text addresses societies negative perception of dementia and challenges the medical approach of treatment. Person focused therapy is suggested as the alternative and the text considers and applies this therapy to the dementia sufferer. I would recomemend this book to all interested individuals. -- Journal of Community Nursing Understanding Dementia has been written for a diverse readership including direct careworkers, planners and policy makers... Its style is direct, accessible and sometimes outspoken. The book is an ambitious one. It presents the first truly psychological model of dementia and sets this, and its service implications, within a historical, social, economic and political context. -- Journal of Dementia Care

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