Recovery approach to the care of people with dementia: decision making and 'best interests' concerns.

Research paper by G G Martin

Indexed on: 20 Aug '09Published on: 20 Aug '09Published in: Journal of Psychiatric and Mental Health Nursing


The concept of 'recovery' has been central to the discussion of the care of people with mental health problems in recent years, in this paper these ideas will be applied to the care of people with dementia in an attempt to focus nursing practice on the notion that it is possible to involve this group of patients in their own decision-making processes. It is acknowledged that this is not always possible without support and advocacy by nurses and other carers who must take on board the need to arrive at solutions to problems or change that are in the person's best interests. The provisions of the Mental Capacity Act in 2005 are key to this discussion, and ways forward are recommended, which include a nursing model for change, in an effort to bring together the concepts addressed in this paper. The conclusion reached is that the recovery approach has some difficulties when applied to people with dementia but it remains an essential aspect of the care process which, together with the provisions of the Mental Capacity Act, could bring about radical improvements to the lives of this group of vulnerable people.