Dementia and personhood: a focus for care?


David Jenkins 5 Barnsley Close, Ash Vale Aldershot, Hampshire GU12 5RH England


The philosophy of nursing emphasizes the importance of holistic care delivered to an individual and their significant others through a shared understanding of the person Dementia, however, strikes at the very nature of personhood, and carers are challenged to re-evaluate how care can be adjusted to help preserve dignity and independence during a very variable span of deteriorating mental function This paper explores the impact of dementia on patients and carers through the meanings of self and body image which give individuality to each of us It concludes by highlighting how recognition of this may assist carers to accommodate the necessary changes associated with the illness