October 20, 2015

book review in DEMENTIA – THE INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF SOCIAL RESEARCH AND PRACTICE - Volume 14, number 5, September 2015

Book Reviews
Excellence in dementia care. 2nd edn,

This well-structured and easy to read text is well suited to its intended broad target
audience. This is an easy to follow and readily understandable text which presents the
current context, research evidence and information in a way which makes it accessible to people regardless of their pre-existing knowledge of dementia. The presentation style makes the information suitable for health professionals, health educators and academics as well as non-tertiary prepared care workers in all care settings. It is also constructed in such a way as to be an extremely useful resource for people with dementia and their family members as well as non-clinical support workers such as volunteers.

What makes this text suitable for such a broad readership is its well-defined structure and clarity of purpose. This enables the text to present high-quality contemporary research in a readily understandable way.
Part one provides the background and context in which people are living and in which
family and healthcare professionals are caring for people living with dementia. This context includes topics such as national and international policy, dementia-friendly communities, portrayal of dementia in the media and the issues concerning ethnicity and younger onset dementia.
Part two conceptualises the care of people with dementia through several discussions including self-hood and the body and understanding dementia through a biopsychosocial lens.
Parts three, four and five take the reader on a journey from describing best practice approaches through care pathways and transitions to a frank discussion about the challenges faced in implementing sustainable practice change and creating environments which involve people with dementia and support a skilled workforce. Perhaps, the most important aspect of this book is its focus on moving research knowledge into day-to-day practice.

Dementia Arts: Celebrating Creativity in Elder Care is an informed handbook aimed at community facilitators for local authorities, therapists, day centres and residential care workers, with guidelines to set up arts for dementia networks. Addressed to poets, poetry lovers and carers, as well as arts facilitators, Dementia Arts recommends the use of well-known poems, which can simply be declaimed with meaning, or used to inspire new poetry and encourages the involvement of other art forms. Each chapter records the author’s experience and presents recipe-style examples of how to combine poetry with dance, improvisation, music and visual art. He invites the reader to refer to Dementia Arts as they would a cookbook, which some might find irksome. Yet, Shakespeare permeates the book, closely followed by William Blake’s The Tyger. Key themes focus on building up a poetry session, one-to-one poetry at home, prompts for carers, the use of art to inspire poetry, music, movement, improvisation with gesture and sensory games, international and intergenerational programming and building a community.

These and other resources are available for loan to members of AANSW - if you would like to reserve them please email the Library on nsw.library@alzheimers.org.au

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