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Person centred dementia care: problems and possibilities

Argyle, Elaine

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Elaine Argyle



Dementia care is an issue of increasing policy focus, with person centred approaches becoming synonymous with quality provision in this area. However, the implementation and efficacy of this approach is difficult to measure and there are still huge variations in working practices, with task centred approaches traditionally predominating over more holistic forms of care. In order to address these issues the procedure of dementia care mapping has been developed, which aims to assess the wellbeing of people with dementia and other vulnerable groups through the observation of communal activities. This article aims to critically assess the implementation of a person centred approach.

– With the use of dementia care mapping, this article assesses the implementation of a person centred approach with a group of care home residents. All were female, their ages ranged from 77 to 92.

– It is shown that while participants potentially experienced many benefits from person centred approaches and the social engagement and integration that derived from this, its efficacy and impact was undermined by contextual factors such as staff shortages.

– In order that contextual factors are recognised and addressed, practice should transcend its focus on the promotion of individual wellbeing and address the wider group and social contexts which can facilitate or prevent its fulfilment.


Argyle, E. (2012). Person centred dementia care: problems and possibilities. Working with Older People, 16(2), 69-77.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Jan 1, 2012
Publication Date Feb 1, 2012
Deposit Date Jan 22, 2018
Publicly Available Date Jan 22, 2018
Journal Working with Older People
Print ISSN 1366-3666
Electronic ISSN 2042-8790
Publisher Emerald
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 16
Issue 2
Pages 69-77
Keywords Person centred approaches, Dementia, Dementia care mapping, Older people, Elder care, Mental illness, United Kingdom
Public URL
Publisher URL
Additional Information Elaine Argyle, (2012) "Person centred dementia care: problems and possibilities", Working with Older People, Vol. 16 Issue: 2, pp.69-77,


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