September 23, 2016

Journal of Dementia Care vol 24 no 5 Sept/Oct 2016

Full text articles  and books and DVDs are available to members of Alzheimer’s Australia NSW by emailing 

Reaching out effectively to Gypsies and travellers – pg 12 - 14

A previous article in the July/August edition of Journal of Dementia care explored factors of Traveller lifestyles that increase the risk of dementia. The current article builds on this topic by discussing what can be done to support and assist people in the Traveller communities. Primarily the article focusses on building trust between health care professionals and those in the community. This will enable Travellers to have a greater understanding of dementia, its risk actors and to feel more confident in accessing services.


PARO the seal shows promise – pg 15

PAROs are cute seal robots that have become a popular tool in animal assisted therapy when a living animal is not available. PAROs respond to light, touch, movement sound and temperature enabling them to respond to being held or spoken to like a real animal.

The robots are more commonly used in Japan however, Age UK Lewisham & Southwark’s Stones End Day Centre has become the first day care facility in the UK to own a PARO. The article reports that the responses of the day centre members was extremely positive with many experiencing a calming effect from interacting with the robot.


Living well with progressive non-fluent aphasia – pg 16-18

In this article Jane Twigg, supported by Jenny La Fontaine, discusses the nature of progressive, non-fluent aphasia (PFNA), how it affects her life and strategies she uses to live well. The article also provides advice for professionals for communicating effectively with someone with PFNA.


‘Golf days Out’ – an innovation in care and respite – pg 18-19

‘Golf days Out’ was created by Anthony Blackburn to provide people with dementia and their carers an opportunity to play golf – a highly beneficial activity for people with dementia as it combines physical exercise, cognitive stimulation and socialising. Participants with dementia are assigned a “golfing buddy” from one of the interested local golfers. The buddy pairs then play the nine-hole course to p or practice on the driving range or putting green. The ‘program is currently being evaluated however early signs suggested the participants are pleased with ‘Golf Days Out’ and some of this feedback is shared in the article.


Getting to know the voluntary sector – pg 20-21

Tara Smith and Jill Manthrope report on an audit they conducted regarding hospital nurses’ knowledge of local dementia voluntary groups. The Nurses interviewed were aware of some local groups but did not always know the function of these groups and didn’t often work in partnership with these organisations. The authors recommend that hospitals make an effort to connect with local dementia voluntary groups.


Talking mats: a model of communication training – pg 22-25

This article describes Talking Mats, a visual method of communicating with people with dementia. Talking Mats uses pictures as symbols to help people with dementia express their likes/dislikes, what they may need help with or their views on certain topics. Results from the evaluation suggest that Talking Mats is a useful communication tool which helps engage people with dementia.


Living in Care: an exercise to promote empathy – pg 27-28

Ian James and colleagues interviewed care staff at residential aged care homes to help staff empathise with the perspectives of people with dementia. The care staff were asked to reflect on what they would find difficult as a resident in an aged care home and how they would respond to this difficult aspect of residency. The staff showed a broad range of response, many concerns being highly individualised. The authors reflect that such conversations with staff could promote greater empathy towards challenging behaviours and result in residents being treated with greater dignity and respect.


A self-management group for people with dementia – pg 29-32

This article describes the results of a study that provided people in the early stages of dementia with self-management skills. The course covered information about dementia, enjoying activities, staying well, managing memories, maintaining relationships, planning ahead, coping skills and local resources. Feedback from participants in the program was positive with the vast majority saying ti was helpful and enjoyable. Further comments from people with dementia and carers are contained in the article.
Common sense to evidence-based practice - pg 32-33

Researchers draw on their own experience to explain why care  work can lay the foundations for an academic career
top tips include :
  • don't be afraid to ask questions
  • be realistic about time that you can commit
  • do your own service evaluations within your workplace
  • join a stakeholder or experts
  • help researchers disseminate the recommendations  of their  research
  • engage via social media
  • make sure research matches your  interests and the interests of the people you work with
  • attend relevant research days
Book reviews


Nothing About Us, Without Us!: 20 Years of Dementia Advocacy
Advocating for dementia for 20 years, Christine Bryden has been instrumental in ensuring that people with dementia are included in discussions about the condition and how to manage and think about it. This collection of her hard-hitting and inspiring insider presentations demands 'nothing about us, without us!' and promotes self-advocacy and self-reflection. Provocative and insightful, the pieces included in the book address issues that demand attention, and will change the way dementia is perceived, and the lives of people with dementia and their families.
'Christine's journey as a dementia advocate is truly remarkable.

 This collection of talks and presentations demonstrate the incredible progress that has been made as a result of her determination to make the world a more inclusive place for people living with dementia.' - Marc Wortmann, Executive Director, Alzheimer's Disease International
'Christine Bryden chronicles her two-decade journey living with a diagnosis of dementia, exploding myths and stereotypes along the way. Even in the face of cognitive struggles, Christine embodies personal growth, sharing her insights about the lived experience of dementia.' - G. Allen Power, MD, author of Dementia Beyond Drugs and Dementia Beyond Disease

'This should be compulsory reading for all professionals, people living with dementia and families affected by dementia. There is no us and them. There is only us.' - Professor Dawn Brooker, Director of the Association for Dementia Studies, University of Worcester, UK and author of Person-Centred Dementia Care


No comments: