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Title: 'I try to forget about the dementia' : realising the resilience of the person ageing with dementia in social work practice
Author: Christie, Julie
Awarding Body: University of Stirling
Current Institution: University of Stirling
Date of Award: 2016
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This thesis considers whether the concept of resilience is applicable to people ageing with dementia; and, if so, what the implications are for social work practice. It begins with an exploration of the literature on dementia, resilience and social work. Using a symbolic interactionist approach it then details how the interactions of people with dementia and their social workers can potentially influence the realisation of resilience in practice. I collected data over a two year period. During this period six dyads comprising a person with dementia and social worker provided rich verbal accounts of their respective experiences. Using narrative analysis the stories of each person with dementia were explored to reveal threats to identity and possible resilience strategies. A resilience lens was applied to the verbal accounts of social workers in order to reveal opportunities and challenges to using resilience in practice. The findings indicate that identity continues to be of importance to people who are ageing with dementia. The preservation of identity could therefore be re-framed as the outcome of a resilience process. Each person could potentially acquire resources over their life which could help to mitigate threats to identity. This is referred to as the resilience reserve. This thesis details the potential domains of such a reserve. Further, it contains details of possible resilience strategies that a person with dementia might employ within stories of self. These strategies are placed within the context of protective and vulnerability factors in order that a resilience framework can emerge. This thesis argues for a re-framing of theories of what social work is. This, combined with a definition of resilience, and the development of a resilience practice framework could promote and realise the resilience of the person ageing with dementia.
Supervisor: Daniel, Brigid ; Gillies, Brenda ; Kelly, Fiona Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: resilience ; dementia ; social work ; practice ; citizenship ; identity ; assessment ; social care ; adult protection ; support planning ; Positive psychology ; Resilience (Personality) ; Dementia--Patients Care ; Social workers