Published Books

By Karrie Marshall

Share Your Story

Do you have a story about giving or receiving care?  Can you help clarify what care really means?  How do people show love, compassion and hope in caring services? How do people feel empowered?   Whether you work in health and social care, or access caring services for support, your story can help people understand what really matters in care. 

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 A Creative Toolkit

for Communication In Dementia Care

How can carers and relatives support a person's identity, relationships and emotional wellbeing through changes that occur in the later stages of dementia?

Drawing on over ten years' experience of working with people with dementia, Karrie Marshall provides a toolkit of tried and tested creative activities to support communication and relationships. Activities are vast and varied, with outdoor activities such as bird-watching and star-gazing aimed at supporting physical health, artistic activities such as collage creation to support identity, and musical activities such as sounds and voice warm-ups to support self-expression.
Marshall also sensitively covers end of life care for people with dementia, explaining how emotional support can be provided through gentle breathing activities and even puppetry, as well as covering the legal importance of power of attorney.

  • Published: Dec 21 2015 Jessica Kingsley Publishers
  • Pages: 200
  • 229 x 169mm
  • ISBN: 9781849056946

RRP £17.99 at Jessica Kingsley Publishers 

Also available at Amazon and leading book stores. 

"As a person with dementia I know many of my peers will lose the ability to verbally communicate, but that does not mean we lose our intelligence. It is pleasing to know that the importance of non-verbal language is highlighted in this book. Ignorance, social isolation and boredom are issues we face. But by following the great advice in this book you will have the necessary toolkit to give people every opportunity to communicate and take part in worthwhile physical and mental activities that will bring hours of enjoyment for the person with dementia and, just as importantly, you the carer." 

Tommy Doune MBE, person living with dementia, community activist


"Really useful, informative book written from a place of experience and knowledge. I would recommend this book to those who support people who have dementia or those of us who want understand more about this condition. A person centred approach." 

Verified Amazon Purchaser

"A Creative Toolkit for Communication in Dementia Care is a valuable resource for caregivers. You'll learn important tips for connecting and better communication with someone who has dementia. The book is inspirational, practical, and educational. It demonstrates how creative communications in caregiving can support the well-being of people with dementia. "

Berna Huebner, Founder and Director, Hilgos Foundation


"Each person's experience of dementia is unique. This book, based on many years of first-hand experience, will help us all to find our own unique way to use creative approaches in caring. It will be an invaluable resource to support and inform our work."

Keith Walker, Chief Executive, Befrienders Highland


"This book is outstanding-worth buying, worth borrowing from the library, worth reading carefully. "

Bob Khan, Alzheimer Research


"This book offers a different perspective in caring for those with dementia. Through a creative approach the author shows how it is possible to make connections and build relationships, with and without words. The process is described step-by-step, making it a valuable resource for anyone involved or interested in this field of work. "

Julie Simmons, Adult Learning Officer, High Life Highland


"Highly recommended and useful"  

Shedfield Lodge Care Home


"Essential, brilliant book for people with a diagnosis of dementia and those who care for them."

The Macphail Centre

Puppetry in Dementia Care

Connecting Through Creativity and Joy


Even in the later stages of the [condition], when memory, words and relationships are affected, it is possible for people with dementia to express emotions, imagination, humour, sensitivities and personal preferences. This book demonstrates the many ways in which puppetry and associated art forms such as singing and story-telling can be used in a person-centred way to create opportunities for these human responses to emerge. 

This thought-provoking book will be a source of inspiration and practical ideas for care staff and activity coordinators, creative arts therapists, occupational therapists, puppeteers and other artists working in care settings, as well as relatives of people with dementia looking for new ways to connect with their loved ones.

  • Published: Jul 28 2013 Jessica Kingsley Publishers
  • Pages: 264
  • 226 x 150mm
  • ISBN: 9781849053921

RRP £24.99  Hachette UK Publishing Group  

Also available at Amazon and leading book stores

"This book provides an excellent justification for the use of art, and more specifically puppetry, as a way of connecting with people with dementia who might otherwise have difficulties maintaining social interaction. Karrie Marshall has obviously researched her subject thoroughly and this book will be of use to anyone who has contact with people with dementia whether they are activity coordinators in care homes, formal carers or relatives. It seeks to introduce novel ways of enhancing the quality of life for people with dementia, at whatever stage they are in the condition."

Dr Samantha Murphy, The Open University

"This inspirational book explores the use of creativity through puppetry and person centred care... The text has numerous examples where a variety of techniques have been used to establish rapport and develop therapeutic relationships. It explores the theoretical basis of dementia care and how theories can be applied in care homes and in the community. The book is particularly relevant to occupational therapists working with clients with dementia when communication and social interaction deficits may be present. It gives practical examples of how a variety of activities can be graded and adapted for individual use and highlights alternative approaches that may be beneficial... Creativity is used to build bridges and strengthen relationships through shared projects which can be incorporated into everyday life. It suggests activities that people with and without dementia are supported in expressing emotions, imagination, personal preferences and humour. Words are not always necessary, colours and visual stimuli are essential. Memories are unlocked with puppets bringing to life nursery rhymes and fables. The engaging style of writing encourages the reader to continue from chapter to chapter. It provides practical ideas to inspire care givers to enter a shared world which can promote well-being and understanding. The text is balanced between theory and case studies... The author has a background in nursing and education. She clearly demonstrates her understanding of the complex needs of those with dementia and how we need to enter and understand the world they live in through her insightful comments and analysis. I would definitely recommend this book for use within the occupational therapists toolkit. It is an excellent resource to support practice and education of carers and students."

Claire Thorpe, Senior OT, Tees, Esk and Wear Valley NHS Foundation Trust

"Calmly and lucidly, Karrie Marshall tells extraordinary stories of the positive impact which just one art form - puppetry - can have in one crucial and highly emotive field of healthcare: dementia. In doing so she also reminds us that we've not yet grasped the full power of the arts to change lives."

Robert Livingstone, Director of HI~Arts 

"the book introduces the idea of puppetry for adults then specifically links using puppetry with people who have dementia... Chapters are themed... There are many suggestions on how to 'work' with the puppets and how to include expressive work in practice... I recommend the book to practitioners especially those who use expressive/creative work; there are many tips. The book is relationship-centred, it is about being 'creatively person-centred' and encouraging practitioners to use 'creative thinking'... The author weaves research and practice together expertly with many helpful references and tips. Highly recommended."

Person Centred Quarterly

"An excellent read even for people (like me) who don't know much about dementia - or puppetry! I've used this book for daily inspiration for weeks now, as it's very easy to pick up and find short, moving stories that remind us what 'person centred' really means - or should do. It brought tears to my eyes three times in the first hundred pages - it's a powerful book, written with a light touch and full of joy. Recommended for anyone seeking new insight into life or work."

Wren (Verified Amazon Customer)

Stories About Compassion In Caring Services

Do you have a story to share?


You can help clarify what care means. Share your positive care experience, or an experience that felt more challenging. Can you identify what compassion in action looks and feels like?  What if the care service does not feel caring? Can you say what would have made it a better experience?

 People go into care work to make a positive difference. People want to be the best they can. I am interested in how we ensure the desire to offer compassionate care services results in the best possible fulfilling experience for all involved.

 Stories are being shared towards my book by people who work in caring services. The stories also come from people who access care homes, hospitals or other caring services.

 All stories are anonymised. Some stories are amalgamated to help maintain anonymity. Stories are associated with relevant chapter headings about love, hope, empowerment, person-centred approaches, communication etc.

Please give a brief story outline here e.g. 'lovely staff when visiting my relative in hospital';  'managing a care service'; 'upsetting health appointment and how it could have been better'.

We will be in contact to either arrange a zoom/phone meeting, or correspond by email. You can withdraw your consent to share your story before the book goes to print. 

Share Your Story

If you are interested in sharing your story to help clarify what care in caring services really means, please give an outline below.  Please do not share any details of the story here. You will receive a guidelines pdf. Thank You.