Book review: “People with dementia speak out” by Lucy Whitman

Published by Jessica Kingsley publishers, 2015. ISBN-10: 1849052700 ISBN-13: 978-1849052702   It’s a necessity of civilised citizenship that voices are listened to. A particular issue with the narrative on dementia is that it has sometimes been unclear whose story we are listening to. It’s easy to ignore some stories if they don’t fit a big […]


My day at the Alzheimer’s Research UK Supporters Group at the Wellcome Trust London

“Our vision is a world where people are free from the fear, harm and heartbreak of dementia.” The history of the society is indeed formidable, described clearly from 1992. I remember asking the late Prof Richard Doll, eminent physician, how he discovered the link between smoking and lung cancer. He answered with characteristic humility ‘serendipity’, […]

The learning objectives of the Masters in dementia I’m designing

This is a first draft only.     A. Subject Knowledge and Understanding   An appreciation of the prime importance of the ‘lived experience’ in all research and service design. The social and economic context of dementia. An understanding of the relevance of ‘personhood’, ‘self’ and ‘identity’ in dementia. An understanding of different approaches to care, […]

Beyond the rhetoric

The highest standards in English dementia policy will not be achieved by political smoke and mirrors, where the rhetoric requires a unachievable leap with reality. In this current term of parliament, where the aim should not have been plugging holes in the roof (the NHS deficits) but the aim should have been a rollout of […]

Connectedness, continuity and community: going beyond ‘friendliness’

I do not have any ideological objection to ‘dementia friendly communities’. It is hard to object being friendly however it is defined, so long as it does not foster a sense of belittling or victimhood for me. However, it does concern me how superficial this construct is, potentially. If you wish to extend the notion […]

Dementia friendly supermarket checkouts are offensive and should cease now

There are many burning issues in English dementia policy. One is mitigating against a high number of low quality and unreliable diagnoses of dementia due to poorly trained staff and inadequate resources in the system overall. Another is the poor coordination of care following diagnosis, due to the haphazard partial and inadequate roll out of […]

Babette’s feast – and learning to care

For some time, Kate Swaffer had been suggesting to me that I should watch one of her favourite films ‘Babette’s Feast’. In case you were unaware, one of Kate’s remarkable talents is high-end cuisine. Kate even ran a restaurant. I went past it in a mini van while I visited Adelaide suburbs earlier this year. […]