The ‘D’ Word: Rethinking Dementia

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The ‘D’ Word starts with the premise that Dementia is here to stay – a simple cure is not going to be found that will make it a condition of the past. As such it is a social problem, not a medical one. We have to learn to live with Dementia and, as it will affect nearly all of us either as carers or through eventually having the condition, become our own experts rather than relying on the inadequate response from medicine. The authors, based on their long experience of working together to support people affected by dementia, show us how to understand the biological reality of dementia (the brain is wasting away and no amount of memory medicine can restore what is gone); readjust our thinking about the condition so that we can accept rather than fear it; and gain the expertise to manage the problems we have now.

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How do you want your dementia to be? The limits of the medical model; Happiness in dementia; Maintaining ourselves in dementia; Dementia as a cognitive disability; Caring in dementia; Improving the emotional experience of dementia; the politics of dementia and the nursing home; Death and dementia; The future of dementia

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About the Author

Mary Jordan is an independent trainer in dementia and related subjects having worked for many years for one of the major UK dementia charities; before that she had first-hand experience of dementia, both through caring for friends and relatives, and professionally. She also has many years of experience working for the National Health Service. In addition to articles and papers published in medical, nursing and social care journals and general magazines, Mary is best known for her books ‘The Essential Carer’s Guide’, ‘The Essential Carer’s Guide to Dementia’, the award-winning ‘End of Life, The Essential Guide to Caring’ and ‘The Essential Guide to Avoiding Dementia’.

Dr Noel Collins is an older adult psychiatrist serving GP practices based in Haringey, London. Much of his community work relates to diagnosing memory problems and delivering appropriate treatment for patients with dementia. He works closely with local GPs, his team, social services and the Alzheimer’s Society to achieve this. He also has a special interest in the use of cognitive behavioural psychotherapy (CBT) and mindfulness in older adults. He contributes to strategy work both nationally as an executive member of the Royal College of Psychiatrists Old Age Psychiatry faculty, and locally.

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