A quiet revolution

Linda Clare, Alan Baddeley, Esme Moniz-Cook and Bob Woods discuss advances in the understanding of dementia.
Dementia is ‘prima facie a psychological disorder’ (Morris & McKiernan, 1994), but the psychological needs of people with dementia are often ignored. Why is dementia a neglected area for psychologists? Perhaps, for many, the word dementia conjures up a sense that nothing can be done. It is true that at present there is no means of curing dementia or preventing its ultimate progression; however, the first pharmacological treatments are now available, and this article will illustrate that there is a great deal that can also be achieved from a psychological perspective. Indeed, in recent years a quiet revolution has taken place in dementia care. Psychologists working in this field have been instrumental in developing both theory and practice, and in expanding the research evidence base. Here we explore some of the ways in which psychologists are helping to understand and meet the challenge of dementia.

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