Communication and the Care of People with Dementia

Communication and the Care of People with Dementia

Communication and the Care of People with Dementia

Communication and the Care of People with Dementia

Excerpt

How much should the authors of a hook know about the subject matter before setting out to write it? The idea of writing a book certainly could imply that it already exists somewhere, and only awaits transformation into physical reality. Perhaps it is so with some. This book has certainly not been like that. In many ways the process of bringing it into being has paralleled the experience of undertaking communication work with people with dementia, where it seems that the thoughts and ideas emerge only in the very process of talking and writing about them.

Our collaboration has taken the form of a series of extended and searching explorations of John's experiences. By the time we agreed to write the book together, he had spent five years working as a writer in residence with people with dementia. It had become clear to him early on in that period that important things were happening for people during the course of the work. It emerged only much later that important things were also happening to John. The next few years were spent (not exclusively) on a process of reflection on the nature, meaning and implications of the work. Prior to this John had proceeded largely intuitively, guided by a strong set of values, and developing new awareness and skills as he went, but not subjecting his experiences to conscious analysis.

Kate brought to this process a fascination with the subject, and a deep regard for the experience of the person with dementia. In keeping with her training . . .

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