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Personhood and dementia: toward a relational framework for assessing decisional capacity

Deborah O'Connor (School of Social Work, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada)

The Journal of Mental Health Training, Education and Practice

ISSN: 1755-6228

Article publication date: 15 September 2010

405

Abstract

Mental health practitioners dealing with older adults living in the community are commonly required to form judgements about the decision‐making capacity of someone with dementia. Newer ways of understanding the dementia experience that recognise the importance of relationships and social connections on the functioning of the person with dementia, offer promise for helping to better conceptualise and carry out these assessments of capability. A relational lens recognises that performance and behaviour of persons with dementia are determined not only by neuropathology but also by their personal histories, their interactions with others, and by how they are perceived within their social contexts. This paper will examine how this more ‘relational’ model of understanding can impact the assessment of incapacity.

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Citation

O'Connor, D. (2010), "Personhood and dementia: toward a relational framework for assessing decisional capacity", The Journal of Mental Health Training, Education and Practice, Vol. 5 No. 3, pp. 22-30. https://doi.org/10.5042/jmhtep.2010.0501

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2010, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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