Peter Heath

5 the social model

The social model of dementia recognizes that the dementia is not the ‘fault’ of the individual and makes every effort to support the individual's skills and capabilities, thereby retaining them and enhancing independence for as long as possible. The social model recognizes the distinction between the individual and the condition, placing the individual at the centre of care. The individual's social circumstances are supported wherever possible, as is inclusion, as opposed to withdrawal and isolation. The individual's preferences are supported and cultural and religious needs are respected.

Perhaps the essential difference between the social model and the medical is that the social model is person-centric and strives to maintain the individual's identity, whereas the medical model is disease-centric and is concerned with the study and management of the condition.