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From The CriticsReviewer: Donna Marie Minner, BSN, RN (University of Missouri-Columbia)
Description: This is a comprehensive yet very readable guide to the day-to-day ethics of dementia care. Information is presented in a way that makes the reader "feel" the needs of the individual. Case studies used at the end of the book will be useful and enlightening for teaching care providers, family members, or other interested parties how to use an empathetic approach in problem solving for persons they care for.
Purpose: The author would like this book to further the perspective that care for people with dementia is a daily exercise in ethics. The author brings to light the importance of a person-centered approach. This approach means understanding persons with dementia, their families, and nursing home staff members as unique individuals. With many nursing homes and their staff members struggling with difficult and sometimes confusing care issues, this book has the potential to place ethical care in an understandable light.
Audience: According to the author, this book is written primarily for professional nursing home staff and educators, but may be helpful for family members and other interested individuals. I found the book easy to read and logically written. Case studies used to illustrate concepts in chapter 4 are written at a general reading level so that they may be used to aid in teaching all levels of staff. The case studies are written with pros and cons for possible interventions, and are presented in a thought provoking, nonjudgmental way. The author's many years in nursing home practice and research with nursing home culture shines through the many illustrative stories, quotes, and presentation of discussions.
Features: This book takes the reader from the viewpoint of the person with dementia as far as what living with dementia can be like, through the nursing home experience in the eyes of residents and families, and finally to the use of ethics as a practical approach to understanding the everyday issues of care for the person with dementia. The last chapter puts forth 12 hypothetical cases in dialogue format with discussion with questions and potential actions and responding commentary. This book will be an excellent addition to any nursing home to be used in the teaching and coaching of staff. As a nurse consultant with a specialty in care of persons with dementia, I had a difficult time putting it down. I will use it often as a reference and a teaching aid. The illustrative stories, quotes, and case studies add greatly to the value of this book and make the concepts come alive.
Assessment: This is a wonderful new addition to any library of resources on care of persons with dementia. It is well written, thought provoking, easy to understand, and will appeal to a variety of individuals with an interest in the field of dementia care. It should be used as a teaching aid for all levels of nursing home staff members and should be offered to families as well.