After presenting a brief review of Attachment Theory, the author demonstrates the richness of Bowlby’s theory in a variety of clinical areas. The concepts "attachment behaviour" and "attachment history" in particular seem to have a broad explanatory value. Many researchers and clinicians already consider Bowlby’s Attachment Theory as a framework of concepts that can be used to understand the meaning of a variety of behaviours of persons with dementia, their family and professional care-givers. It is hypothesized that persons affected by dementia live in a trauma-fraught world, due to their ever-increasing inability to recognize or give sense to their surrounding physical and social context. To understand the trauma perspective, the "awareness context" concept is crucial. The Author highlights ways in which the "strange situation" - in its adaptation to the world of older adults affected by dementia - can offer the key to understand behavioural disorders in terms of attachment, as an expression of the need for closeness and protection.
Keywords: Dementia, attachement, strange situation, trauma, caregivers.