Amanda Waring has written a book which has particular relevance given the current debates about how to re-introduce greater dignity and compassion into the day-to-day working of both the NHS and other organisations involved in the provision of health and social care for the elderly.
The “Heart of Care: Dignity in Action” presents a handy and readable summary of the author’s broad experience. This book will be of wide and enduring appeal to carers (whether paid or unpaid), people employed in care homes, community health care workers at all levels, and health care assistants, nurses, therapists etc. working with the elderly in NHS hospital settings.
There are chapters on person-centred care, dementia care, the transitions from home or hospital to care homes, and the creation of person-centred and compassionate care homes. This book also addresses more general themes such as empathic communication skills, emotional intelligence, the honouring and celebration of elderly people, and maintaining spiritual and emotional care into old age and when approaching the end of life.
The “Heart of Care” is not a dry textbook. The author gently encourages carers / readers to examine themselves and question their attitudes, prejudices and behaviour. Her intention is to challenge us all to be more insightful carers and better people in the broadest sense. There is a chapter entitled “When the going gets tough” which offers practical advice to help prevent carers from losing their motivation, ideals and commitment in the face of seemingly impossible challenges.
Amanda Waring is board member of the National Dignity Council.
Waring, A. (2012). The heart of care: dignity in action: a guide to person-centred compassionate elder care. London: Souvenir Press, 2012.
Note: This book is currently available for purchase in hardcopy and Kindle™ formats.