On Day 50 of our “in my shoes” guest blog series, looking at dementia from different perspectives, I am very pleased to be able to showcase the Journal of Dementia Care (JDC) – a wonderful resource for anyone interested in dementia – and with a very inclusive, cutting edge approach.
The Journal of Dementia Care – or JDC as it is known – is a long-running magazine for all professionals in the dementia care field, published by Hawker Publications. Dr Richard Hawkins and Sue Benson launched the magazine 20 years ago, and continue to oversee this much-loved publication. Here, its current editor Catherine Ross introduces JDC to those of you who have not had the chance to grab a copy…
JDC’s claim to fame is that it has been prepared to publish articles on many topics well before they were considered acceptable or well understood in dementia care: person-centred care, promoting the creative arts and non-drug interventions, recognising the importance of communication in understanding challenging behaviour, the therapeutic use of dolls, sexuality – the list is long.
For many, JDC is an important place to share new ideas with a community of like-minded professionals, and to be stimulated by the work of others in practice and academia. Trying to involve as many voices as possible is so important to us: not letting one approach dominate or exclude other voices, and also welcoming practitioners who may be unpractised in writing for a professional journal. We do lots of work to support contributors to make their writing more accessible – and that goes for both academics and practitioners!
Over the years JDC has published some landmark articles, which get referred to time and time again. Tom Kitwood, an enthusiastic backer of JDC from the start, contributed an article titled ‘Discover the person not the disease’ to the very first issue – a piece which set the tone for JDC to this day. Errollyn Bruce’s article in 2000 on the Bradford Well-Being Tool, a modified version of Dementia Care Mapping, gets cited frequently, often by practitioners working fairly much in isolation to improve basic services.
Richard Ward’s series in 2005/2006 famously reported on research that showed that direct communication between care staff and care home residents took little more than two per cent of the day, and that 78 per cent of all interactions were task-based – shocking findings, and both still referenced regularly. Elizabeth Milwain’s series on the ‘Brain and behaviour’ helpfully explained basic medical information to readers, and John Killick and Kate Allen’s articles on communication are also considered key references.
Are the articles helpful? Well, we receive a continual trail of requests for individual articles, often ones written many years ago now but still relevant – and many are used as the basis for training sessions with care staff.
So that’s our history. What about the future for JDC? There’s no doubt it’s a challenging time for print publications, but JDC’s circulation remains strong, and its Advisory Board brings together a wonderful range of key thinkers in the dementia care field – again practitioners and academics.
We’re trying some new regular items in the Journal this year: a panel piece, debating topical issues; reports round-up (how can any of us keep up with the plethora of reports out every week in this broad field?), an update on dementia research and blog watch (there’s so much going on in social media, we must reflect and link up with that).
The dementia care field is so full of keen contributors, that it’s a real challenge – in fact impossible in a bimonthly – to include everything we want to. And the task of keeping up with news and resources has exploded in the past two or three years – largely thanks to social media, which is a great development.
Want to find out more? Do get in touch – email firstname.lastname@example.org and ask for the sample copy of the latest issue of JDC, just out. Not everything’s there, but it should give you a good feel for the look and approach of the magazine. And if you’re keen to contribute to the magazine, please do drop me a line at email@example.com
We’ve just launched a new website, and you can now set up a subscription and buy individual articles from the Journal of Dementia Care online – good news for the many who get in touch with us each week for back articles.
Together with the Dementia Training Study Centre at the University of Wollongong in Australia, we have also recently launched the Australian Journal of Dementia Care – and are now working hard to publish the third issue, with mainly Australian content, but some UK-based pieces too. There’s no doubt there’s huge interest in making sure the dementia care field shares and promotes best practice to the growing workforce worldwide.
JDC also hosts a number of conferences and training events around the UK every year. Its key event is UK Dementia Congress, held each autumn, a must for networking in the dementia care field, and now in its seventh year. The event attracts over 800 people, and the programme this year is jammed as ever with stimulating sessions. Ever since the first Congress, we have worked hard to involve people with dementia and their carers and supporters in participating in and contributing to the event.
JDC have kindly invited me to contribute to a panel piece to appear in the the Sep/Oct issue of JDC, responding to the question: ‘Is personalisation working for people with dementia?’ Watch this space… Gill