From psychological interventions to a psychology of dementia
Psychological interventions are now embedded within and tailored to the needs of a person with dementia. A person living with a progressive cognitive disability is struggling to learn, recall, reason, and communicate, yet remains a person nevertheless. No longer does anyone seriously argue that the erosion of cognitive function leaves a person ‘nonhuman’, to be regarded as a physical entity devoid of self and feeling. Instead we embrace a person with a psychology that is dimmed by dementia but not destroyed; a person with a unique life history that exerts influence over how they live in a world that is rendered more complex, mysterious and, if history is our guide, increasingly unsupportive. This chapter discusses the psychology of dementia, contemporary psychological interventions, and behaviours that challenge carers.
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