Books reviewed by James Woodward

Explorations in dementia:
Theoretical and Research Studies into the Experience
of Remediable and Enduring Cognitive Losses

Explorations in dementia: by Michael Bender
Jessica Kingsley publishers, (ISBN 1 84310-040-1) £19.95, 448pp 2004.

I came to reading this book with very little background knowledge about dementia.  The author, a consultant clinical psychologist working with older adults in the West Country has produced a text book which expands, explains and illuminates this very complex area.  The book is well organised, well written and reflects significant research and professional experience of working with people with dementia.  There is an extensive discussion about the terms and Bender argues that a care approach informed by a number of inter-professional perspectives can best support those living with dementia.  He is particularly good at emphasising the importance of social context in our approach to care.

I am not qualified to evaluate this particular psychological model for dementia, but commend the book as an important contribution to our understanding of dementia through its comprehensive study of the psychology of dementia and its critique of a number of perspectives on dementia.

The book significantly adds to Jessica Kingsley’s reputation for major pieces of work in the care of care for older people.  This volume deserves a wide circulation amongst professionals, academics and student in the field of dementia services.  I hope that we can find ways of relating these theories to practice so that we can all continue to strive to improve the quality of care amongst nurses, carers and social workers.

James Woodward