A new beautifully illustrated graphic novel explores the challenges of providing home care for people with dementia, and brings to life the day-to-day struggles of carers.
Winston’s World is based on research carried out by experts at the Institute of Mental Health, based at the University of Nottingham, looking at dementia home care. It features drawings by award-winning cartoonist Tony Husband and a research-informed narrative by Justine Schneider, Professor of Mental Health and Social Care at the University.
The book has been written as a resource for learning about home care and about dementia home care in particular.
Over 10 months in 2016-2017, two researchers worked as home carers in six households where someone with dementia needed support. Professor Schneider and Dr Kristian Pollock, from the University’s School of Health Sciences, interviewed the workers and relatives.
Professor Schneider said: “We wanted to reflect the things we learned from our research without losing the sense of drama in the everyday that makes home care so fascinating. This is why we got together and developed the characters you meet in this book.
“Daisy, Freda, Jim, Janet, Andrew, Brutus and Winston are all fictional, but the scenarios here are typical in many ways.”
The team put the book together as part of a project to look at what ‘good’ home care looks like for people with dementia.
The book shows a world where people are trying hard to deliver good care, but where there is still room for improvement.
Every drawing has been carefully developed to offer a focus for reflection and discussion.
“Tony (the artist) has previously shown his sensitivity to dementia in the book ‘Take Care Son’ so we were thrilled when he agreed to bring our characters to the page!” adds Professor Schneider.
The team also took advice from home care workers and trainers about how to portray the character Daisy (the home care worker).
The result is a book of five narratives that are based on real life and recognisable to anyone who works with people with dementia in the community.
Downloadable for free from www.idea.nottingham.ac.uk/resources/winstons-world, the book is also available in a glossy, spiral-bound format for £6 plus postage and packaging. Details of how to order are on the same website, or contact: Toni.Wijewardene@nottingham.ac.uk
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