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Dementia Reconsidered: the Person Comes First

Tom Kitwood

Lorraine Haining, Specialist Nurse Practitioner

Reason you chose this book

This book published in 1997 completely changed my perspective on dementia care. It took my practice from being task orientated to bring person centred. It inspired me to learn more about dementia and the psychological needs of people particularly during times of change. It made me the specialist practitioner I am today


Dementia Reconsidered deconstructs the medical model that was around at the time the book was published and challenged task oriented practice. It introduces the concept of the psychological needs of people with dementia addressing their emotional needs. In this book the concept of Personhood is explained in detail, challenging how people with dementia are labelled and how other are unable to see the person behind the dementia and this in turn leads to unmet needs causing high levels of stress and distress. It also looks at the whole person taking a bio-psychosocial approach in dealing with the person and their family. For me it was one of the first books to look at the experience of dementia from the perspective of the person with the disease which transformed care approaches focusing on strengths and the human rights of an individual, truely inspiring for me and I still recommend it as the one book about dementia that every carer should read.

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Read all of November's book reviews.