Meaningful touch is an essential part of truly person-centred dementia care, yet its value is often viewed as secondary to its perceived risks. This book restores trust in the power of touch, demonstrating the vital role it plays in supporting personhood, relationships and wellbeing, and challenging the barriers preventing staff from using touch in meaningful ways.
Using many examples from practice, Luke Tanner demonstrates that touch and other forms of non-verbal communication are essential for 'being with' and not just 'doing to' people living with a dementia, and explains how and when to use touch effectively in everyday interactions, and in all stages of dementia. He places touch in the context of consent and safeguarding, whilst emphasising the need for positive attitudes to touch to be at the heart of care cultures.
Offering perspectives, ideas, training exercises and culture change actions to maximise the benefits of touch in dementia care settings, this practical guide will enable practitioners to reflect on their own use of touch and develop the knowledge, skills and confidence to place meaningful touch at the heart of their work.
Luke Tanner is a massage therapist, body psychotherapist and dementia care trainer. He specialises in the use of touch and non-verbal communication to support the wellbeing of people with a dementia living in residential care settings. He lives in London. More information about Luke's work can be found at www.touchincare.com.
Foreword. Introduction. 1. Models of Care and Cultures of Touch. 2. Talking About Touch in Care. 3. The Experience of Touch and a Cognitive Impairment. 4. A Sense of Touch and the Experience of Attachment. 5. Touch, Confusion and Uncertainty. 6. Non Verbal Consent to Touch. 7. Touch, Emotional Needs and Personhood. 8. Touch, Relationships and Intimacy. 9. Touch in Care Tasks. 10. Resistance to Touch in Care Tasks. 11. Erotic Touch and Sexual Intimacy. 12. Touching Stuff. Conclusion. Appendices.