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Dementia Care Matters

Dementia Care Matters

On first seeing the word Mattering many people’s reaction is to wonder ‘is it a word?’ The dictionary confirms it is the present participle of the verb matter.
It is a word and a concept that Dementia Care Matters is concentrating heavily on in our work in 2013. It is interesting that Mattering as a word feels new. Mattering is as old as the hills and was written about by Aristotle. Mattering has many meanings – the key meaning is to be of importance or to be influential. Other meanings are striking too – having consequence, carrying weight, making a difference and counting.
Trying to ensure people living with a dementia matter must surely be the central purpose of all care services. This poses two key questions – how far are current care services geared to ensuring that people really matter? Is the idea of Mattering totally at the centre of care relationships between people living and working together?
Peterson C in Psychology Today cites Mattering as people needing to feel from others that they are:
• Important to others
• Attended to by others
• Missed by other people
• Interesting to other people
• Depended upon by others

For this reason I feel the concept of Mattering has the potential to help in our understanding in dementia care of what it means to be person centred. I believe proving people matter is a simple way to energise many other people already committed to achieving quality of life in dementia care. Showing staff too that they matter will be key in the next few years in ensuring quality of care.
Dementia Care Matters hopes its new work in this field will help to promote ‘ The Feeling of Mattering’ and that everyone working in dementia care can prove that in dementia care Mattering Matters.
David Sheard (Dr), Chief Executive / Founder, Dementia Care Matters

01273 242 235

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