chapter  Chapter 13
13 Pages

Groups for people with cognitive impairment and with dementia

What should we be doing?
BySandra Evans

This chapter describes group-based encounters and the theories which underpin therapeutic work. It argues that groups are useful in a dementia setting. The particular strengths of groups are not only that they can be used to address a number of issues among several different sufferers within the same group; although this is true: groups bring people together who have different problems and needs but who all share their common humanity. It is this shared set of human vulnerabilities and strengths which are highlighted, amplified and resonated to in a group setting. Groups do not need to be single-issue to be effective. Congregations in small groups do not all need to be run using the same psychotherapeutic modalities nor even with an expressly psychotherapeutic intention. Social groups for example are considered to be an important milieu in which people with dementia can maintain their social contacts, engage with others to stimulate their interests and focus their attention. It is important to remember that there is always potential for the negative in groups, the power of which should not be underestimated.