This is the new book from the Courtyard Centre for the Arts project in Hereford, poems drawn from people with memory loss. It is the follow-up to In the Pink, which came out last year. On this occasion John mentored the poets, Deborah Alma, Jacqui Rowe and David Calcutt but did not contribute poems himself. They worked in care homes, day centres and hospital wards in the county. Copies of the book can be obtained from the Courtyard for £3 - email@example.com 340555
Here is part of the poem which gave the book its title:
Do you think your voice gets any older? I'm not sure it does Perhaps a little I was a singer I don't know how good the voice is now I sing under my breath now
A new book called 'Dementia Positive' by John
We are delighted that there is going to be a book with this title! I am writing it for Luath Press in Edinburgh, who hope to give it world-wide distribution. It is a small book with a big ambition: to reach family members and friends who support people with dementia. It deals with psychosocial approaches – that means it will concentrate on communication and relationships. Even so, that is a large field to cover. The challenge is to keep it straightforward without indulging in over-simplification. There are too many texts around that offer ‘quick fixes’. There is no point in hiding the fact that dementia is a most complex condition about which we still know far too little. I hope that the book will offer support and encouragement whilst avoiding dogmatic advice. After two decades working in the field I have some positive things to offer, including many stories to tell. In order to keep the book rooted in experience I am organizing the text in an unusual way: each short chapter is in two parts: after covering the topic briefly himself there are a series of quotations (some at some length) mainly from relatives, partners and friends as well as people with dementia themselves, which hopefully will complement his contribution. I regards this book as my biggest writing challenge yet. Watch this space for reports of progress.....
The ‘Australian Journal of Dementia Care’, a sister publication to our UK Journal of Dementia Care, has been launched this month.
It is owned by Hawker Publications and edited by a friend of ours, Professor Richard Fleming of Wollongong University.
John has been engaged as a regular columnist for the AJDC, and will write about communication and relationships. His first article ‘Removing the Walls of Fear’ appears in the first issue.
New book on playfulness and people with dementia by John
I am writing a book on this subject as part of the Bradford Practice Guide series to be published by Jessica Kingsley.
I have been ransacking the literature and interviewing individuals who have stories to tell about using fun as a central part of communication, including people living with dementia themselves.
It will also share my learning from the experience of developing the 'funshop' idea, where I bring playful improvisation techniques to groups of people with dementia. This approach seems to have considerable potential.
Click below to the beginning of a short video of a 'funshop'. You can see the whole video here