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South African Journal of Occupational Therapy

On-line version ISSN 2310-3833
Print version ISSN 0038-2337

S. Afr. j. occup. ther. vol.42 n.3 Pretoria  2012




The potential of Dementia Care Mapping as a practice development tool for occupational therapists in South Africa



Sanetta H J du ToitI; Claire SurrII

IB (Occupational Therapy) M (Occupational Therapy) M Sc PhD. Senior lecturer, Department of Occupational Therapy, University of the Free State, SA
IIBA (Hons) PGDip HE (Distinction) PhD. Head of Education Programmes, Division of Dementia Studies, School of Health Studies, University of Bradford, United Kingdom





The quality of care for persons living with dementia in institutional care settings is of global concern. The provision of person-centred care (PCC) for people with dementia is internationally recognised as best practice, which promotes possibilities for people with dementia to experience well-being. However, there remains a lack of evidence of approaches that can help to support delivery of PCC for older people with dementia in long-term care, in South Africa. Dementia Care Mapping (DCM) is a successful practice development tool, originating in the UK, used for supporting the implementation of PCC. However, to date it has not been considered for use by South African occupational therapists working in residential care facilities. This article defines the components of the DCM tool, its process of use and potential outcomes for care practice. In an attempt to scrutinise the value of findings from an occupational therapy perspective, the Kawa Model is drawn upon to explain how the data from DCM can be interpreted. The Kawa Model provides a strong focus on how a sense of being is promoted by a person's context, and is an established vehicle to aid understanding of the potential for application of PCC in South African care facilities.

Key words: Dementia, person-centred care, occupational therapy practice development



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Sanetta HJ du Toit

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