Conceptual frameworks for thinking about dementia

A wide range of conceptual frameworks are available for understanding and thinking about dementia and dementia care. Two papers within the review focus specifically on such frameworks, the first looking at broad theoretical perspectives and the ways in which they shape dementia policy, and the second considering two apparently quite dissonant approaches - mental health recovery and person-centred care - and what they could, in concert, bring to dementia care.  

Reconciling mental health recovery with screening and early intervention in dementia care

IRVING, K, LAKEMAN, R
International Journal of Mental Health Nursing
2010

Irving and Lakeman (2010) acknowledge that the concept of person-centred care has become a catchphrase for good care but has not resulted in improvements in care for everyone with dementia.

They take a critical look at the concept of recovery as used in mental health and its potential application to dementia care. They explore the similarities and differences between it and person-centred care, the difficulties of using the concept of recovery in the context of a degenerative condition such as dementia and take a closer look at its relevance for dementia screening and early intervention. They conclude that the recovery movement has much to offer dementia care and vice versa. 

Developing theoretical understandings of dementia and their application to dementia care policy in the UK

INNES, A., MANTHORPE, J.
Dementia
2013

Innes and Manthorpe (2013) critically assessed three influential theoretical perspectives (biomedical, psycho-social and critical social gerontology) in shaping dementia policy in different regions of the UK.

They offer the policy document used in the consultation process of the national dementia strategy in NI as an illustrative example of policy on dementia that engages with person-centred principles, a hallmark of social-psychological perspectives on dementia.  They argue that lessons from different theoretical perspectives need to be explicitly recognised, challenged and valued for a truly integrated dementia care policy model to evolve.