Hearing the Voice of People with Dementia

Opportunities and Obstacles

Written for all those concerned with providing services for people with dementia and their families, this book explores the idea that communication is not only possible but also vital to the understanding and the development of services. Based on a series of interviews with sufferers and professionals working in the field, on an extensive literature search, and on a consultative document which was sent out to over a thousand people, Hearing the Voice of People with Dementia discusses ten key points:
· the possibility of communication;
· the disempowering experience of dementia;
· the different ways in which people are affected;
· the need to respect peoples' sense of sense of time and place;
· the importance of knowing a person's `life story';
· the effect of environmental and other factors on the process of communication;
· the non-verbal ways in which people with dementia communicate;
· the means of communicating through `challenging behaviour';
· possibilities of group work;
· the value or harm of sharing a diagnosis.
Practical advice and suggestions based on the research into these key areas are offered to help professionals gain a greater understanding of dementia and develop skills which aid communication.
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