Social aspects of dementia are becoming increasingly important as part of a wider shift in emphasis from cure to care. This is partly because approaches based on finding a cure have proved far more difficult and complex than originally imagined (WHO, 2016). New evidence on the effectiveness of public health measures, that while incidence is growing as the proportion of older people in society increases its prevalence amongst older adults is actually falling, has also lead to increased interest in social dimensions of prevention, lifestyle change, and practical intervention in community settings (Prince et al., 2016; Kivipelto et al., 2017). This, in turn, has led to a rediscovery of the role of supports to people living with dementia in their daily lives, the needs of informal carers, and professional activities that can maintain the social engagement of each party (Winblad et al., 2016). The expansion of practice around person-centered care, beyond traditional institutional settings, has also contributed to a socialized view of how interactions in dementia care are thought about (Bartlett et al., 2017), as has an increased awareness of the effects of the social construction of dementia in the public mind (Biggs, 2018). Most recently, people living with dementia, and particularly with respect to younger onset dementia, have begun to find a voice and to make connections to the wider disability movement (Dementia Alliance International, 2017). Each of these developments, in their different ways, have led to a re-emphasis on psycho-social elements of dementia, its experience, and how that might translate into clinical practice and service delivery.
SOURCE: Haapala, I., Biggs, S., & Kurrle, S. (2018). Social aspects of dementia and dementia practice. International Psychogeriatrics, Volume 30, Special Issue 11 , November 2018 , pp. 1579-1581.
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