Title: Leadership for Person Centred Dementia Care
Author: Buzz Loveday
Publisher: Jessica Kingsley Publishers 2013
Reviewer: Professor June Andrews, director, Dementia Services Development Centre, University of Stirling
What was it like?
This book aims to highlight the key features of dementia care leadership. It is written by an experienced and highly respected dementia leadership trainer, and includes illustrations and examples that have been shared with her by many participants in her courses. The author says herself, modestly, that many of the ideas will be familiar to many readers, but I believe they will never before have seen them laid out with such clarity, in such an orderly way and with such attention to the detail and the everyday reality of running a service. Each chapter helpfully begins with a table outlining what is on offer in that section, and there is good use of diagrams, tables and checklists, which will be of practical value to the leader in both their own understanding and in helping others to understand.
What were the highlights?
The author uses really useful text boxes throughout the book to promote reflection, and invites the reader to ask themselves questions about their own service. Although the work is substantial, the tone is light and that makes it easy to read. The frequent use of direct quotes and scenarios keeps the pace up throughout. And the conclusion raised my spirits in a world where too many people find all of this too hard, or make it too complicated.
Strengths & weaknesses:
A great strength is that the advice given here on specific issues, such as giving feedback to staff and changing their behaviours are illustrated from a dementia point of view, but the techniques are those that could be used by a nurse leader in any setting.
Who should read it?
The book is designed to be of use to people in leadership roles, but I’d recommend it for anyone working in dementia care, in nursing or social care positions who has any ambition to take up a management position. Read it before that job interview! And then keep it beside you if you get the job.