About Margaret Butterworth
Margaret Butterworth (1922–2002) was a campaigner in dementia care and early member of the Alzheimer's Society.
As a carer herself, she recognized the poor state of training in dementia care and established CRAC Dementia (Council of Relatives to Assist in the Care of Dementia) – a group of carers who talked to medical, psychology and nursing students. She ran carer training sessions for second-year postgraduate clinical psychologists at University College London (UCL) for 15 years until her death in 2002. Shirley Nurock, subsequent Chair of CRAC Dementia, said of Margaret Butterworth:
‘She passionately believed that carers were the people to advise on the kind of support they needed, and felt that they should be involved in the commissioning of services.'
The Care Home Forum established in her name was started at UCL and is now co-hosted by King’s College London.
Margaret Butterworth was also head of the National Association for Providers of Activities for Older People and co-chair of the London Centre for Dementia Care.
Maria Parsons, herself former Director of the London Centre for Dementia Care and now Director of Creative Dementia Arts Network said:
‘As a former carer and still campaigning for people with dementia and carers well into her 70s, [Margaret] proved that age is no barrier to tackling social issues. I spent time with her at Dementia Services Development Centres Network meetings hosted by the Alzheimer’s Society and at early North Seas Dementia Conferences in Europe. Margaret was passionate about improving dementia care, incredibly hard working and strong minded. Charming but very feisty, I recall having dinner with her when she quietly told a waiter her fish was ‘cold, very cold, in fact it tastes as though it came out of the North Sea a few minutes ago...’
In addition to the Forum Margaret is also remembered in the annual Margaret Butterworth Award for excellence in dementia care for care workers, health care assistants and activity organisers. The award is administered by Dementia Pathfinders, together with the Margaret Butterworth Committee.
Alzheimer's Society (2008) Living with Dementia May 2008 [accessed 19 April 2013]
Butterworth, M. (1995) 'Dementia: The family caregiver's perspective', Journal of Mental Health, 4(2): 125-132.
Devon News Centre (2012) ‘Devon County Council Care worker recognised by Dementia UK’, 11 December 2012. [accessed 19 April 2013]
Nurock, S. (2003) 'Obituary - Margaret Butterworth', Journal of Dementia Care, 11(1): 10.
Parsons, M (2013) Personal communication, 16 April.
Rosemary Hurtley has kindly provided us with the text of her eulogy for Margaret Butterworth, which she gave at the memorial service held in London on 15 May 2003.
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