Why did I love this book?
Kitwood’s seminal work was first published in 1997. This new edition, just over 20 years later, contains commentaries on each of Kitwood’s chapters to bring the work up to date. But, candidly, the original remains compelling. I gobbled it up, even if I disagreed with bits of it. It introduced me to the new culture of dementia care. It was refreshing, with its talk of a ‘malignant social psychology’, which is sadly still pervasive. It also introduced many people to Dementia Care Mapping, an observational technique now used all over the world to improve the care of people living with dementia. At the centre of Kitwood’s considerations was the importance of the person, seen as a psychosocial being, not simply a biomedical one. What a surprisingly revolutionary idea!