The concept of personhood and its relevance for a new culture of dementia care
Before the term 'care' was annexed to the twin vocabularies of nursing and social work it belonged, essentially, to the field of ethics. In this context, to care for others means to value who they are; to honour what they do; to respect their unique qualities and needs; to help protect them from harm and danger; and - above all-to take thoughtful and committed action that will help to nourish their personal being. In such ideas there is a strong recognition of the interdependence of human life, the fact that no one can flourish in isolation; the well-being of each one is linked to the well-being of all. Moreover, the noun 'carer' did not exist. That was a later accretion, a kind of debasement.