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Explanatory models of dementia : links to end-of-life care.

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article

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<mark>Journal publication date</mark>2006
<mark>Journal</mark>International Journal of Palliative Nursing
Issue number5
Volume12
Number of pages5
Pages (from-to)209-213
StatePublished
Original languageEnglish

Abstract

We will describe four models used to understand dementia: as a neurological condition; as a neuro-psychiatric condition; as a normal part of ageing; and seeing dementia from a person-centred perspective. Adopting the last of these allows an engagement with palliative care that has the potential to enrich the end-of-life experience of people with dementia, of their families and of the professional care staff who work with them. In this article, it will be argued that our perceptions of what is possible for practising person-centred care at the end of life are constrained by the paradigms we work within. There is developing evidence about how approaches to end-of-life care for people with dementia can move beyond what was, at best, therapeutic pessimism and at worst ill-treatment towards something that optimizes the capacities of those with dementia and mobilizes imaginative care practice.