Dementia Care Mapping (DCM) is grounded in the theoretical perspective of a person-centred approach to care. Person-centred care values all people regardless of age and health status, is individualised, emphasises the perspective of the person with dementia, and stresses the importance of relationships (Brooker,2004).
People living with dementia become more and more vulnerable owing to their decreasing mental capacities and cognitive functions. Coming into a residential care setting further stresses them out due to unfamiliarity of the surrounding and staff. Staff at the same time may not be aware of the changes the person is going through and may treat their symptoms and behaviour in an inappropriate manner which is in most cases is not the intent. The resident in turn may re-act in response and is in high risk of being labelled as person with "challenging or aggressive behaviour".
A number of nursing staff in St Mary’s are trained in Dementia Mapping and would assess patients/residents on a referral basis. Following mapping a report is written with recommendations for care which informs the plan of care. The concept of Dementia Mapping is shared with all nursing through on going education sessions.
Tom Kitwood, through a series of research, has devised this tool to examine the care rendered to a person living with dementia in a care setting. The sole aim of the tool is to analyse the care from the person’s point of view and to tailor it to suit him or her better. It assesses the impact of environment, communication, human interactions along with the stage of dementia the resident is in and provides a guideline to the staff to devise a better care plan strategy.