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ss triple helix - spring 2012,  Dementia: Frank & Linda's Story

Dementia: Frank & Linda's Story

New understanding, new approaches, new hope
Louise Morse
Monarch Books, 2010
£8.99 Pb 256pp
ISBN 978 1 85424 930 2

If dementia is a 'no go topic' for you as an individual or a clinician (whatever your speciality), or both, then read this book! It provides the corrective re-think you need. Written by a cognitivie behavioural therapist, it presents an explicitly Christian perspective structured around a married couple's 'case history'.

Clearly, practically and movingly, the day-to-day and sequential issues (and possibilities) for relationship, caregiving, communication, 'personhood', identity and support (practical, emotional, spiritual are covered, alongside a contemporary intuitive approach (SPECAL) breaking new ground in the provision of formal and informal care (and crying out for a major reseearch grant). Firmly rooted in the sanctity of 'God's image', replete with practical advice and useful links, this is a resource for individual caregivers, health professionals, church families, and all thinking Christians. In chapter 9 (The Care Funding Maze) I found myself challenged by the poor showing of the traditional 'mediclal model', the bureaucratic ineptitude of the separated 'social' one and the clear need to re-unify the two. If, as cited by one reviewer, ' good care is something that comes from the heart, not the system', then both need to change. Some secular progress is welcomed, but where are the Christian medics? Read it. There's a battle for Christ to be won or lost!

Cameron Swift is a consultant physician and professor of healthcare of the elderly

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