Since dementia is mainly associated with old people, that doesn’t make it an integral part of ageing. Simply put, not every person that is ageing will get dementia. With dementia, the most common symptom is forgetfulness. A person with dementia could easily start by forgetting simple things like where they place their keys, important documents, etc. In severe cases, they forget family members, relatives and friends as well.
Dementia is an overall term that is used to describe a group of symptoms that are linked with memory decline or additional thinking skills that is severe enough to reduce an individual’s ability when it comes to performing the everyday activities that they were used to. There are about 47.5 million people in the world living with dementia.
These books are not just great resources for family members who are looking for ways of supporting a loved one suffering from dementia but also for professionals…
Brain death cell is the known cause of dementia, and the more a person with dementia continues to age, the more severe the condition gets. There are four known stages of dementia: mild cognitive impairment, mild dementia, moderate dementia, and severe dementia. Besides the stages, there are also different types of dementia.
These include Alzheimer’s disease, Mixed Dementia, Dementia with Lewy Bodies, Parkinson’s disease, and Huntington’s disease among other disorders. Some common known early signs of dementia include but are not limited to mood changes, being repetitive, poor sense of direction (person’s with dementia may get lost when walking a street that they were used to), difficulty in communicating and finding the right choice of words to use, confusion, short-term memory changes and difficulty getting used to changes.
Why Invest in Books for Dementia?
Having a family member diagnosed with dementia can be hard to imagine. Still, every four seconds, there is a patient somewhere getting diagnosed with dementia. Dementia patients – depending on the stage of dementia – may require a lot of support doing tasks and activities that they were used to doing by themselves.
While there are families that basically dedicate their time to providing the care and support needed for their relative suffering from dementia, there are those that choose to hire a caregiver or enrol them in an elderly home where they’ll have round the clock care. Taking care of a dementia patient can be overwhelming especially if they are suffering from severe dementia as it means they don’t remember anything and may need help with doing basic tasks like eating or going to the toilet.
While doctors and caregivers can advise on what to do when you have a dementia patient, getting knowledgeable about it can also help you cope with it. Besides the information that you can find online, there are also books that have been written out there by numerous authors that come in handy for family members and caregivers as well when it comes to providing the needed care.
Below are 10 reads for family members and caregivers who are looking for answers, support, guidance and peace of mind on how best to provide the support needed by a loved one that is living with dementia. These books are not just great resources for family members who are looking for ways of supporting a loved one suffering from dementia but also for professionals who are working in the ageing field, regardless of whether it’s in housing, health care or support services.
Must Read Books for Dementia Patient
Caregivers and Family
Somebody I used to Know by Wendy Mitchell
At the age of 58, Wendy Mitchell got diagnosed with Young Onset Dementia in July of 2014. Once an active individual who worked with the British National Health Service, Mitchell shares her personal journey on her cognitive decline and how she has struggled to wade it off. While she didn’t know what lay ahead of her after the diagnosis, she outplays the condition for as long as she could.
Somebody I used to Know is a memoir by Mitchell on her own journey. Mitchell lives by herself and leverages on technology, and Post-it notes to remind herself of her routines. She also has a “memory room” that she created where she displays a photo of her daughters and close friends as well as special palaces. The room also acts as her happy place on gloomy days.
As an ambassador for the Alzheimer’s Society, Mitchell started seeing her condition as a gift and learned to embrace it. Seeing how little information there was out there on dementia, she vowed to raise awareness on the disease and spends her time educating both caregivers and doctors as well as people living with dementia in order to reduce stigma.
Being an incurable disease, it doesn’t help that there are lots of people around the globe that don’t understand the disease which of course affects the quality of care given to patients suffering from the disease. Oliver James, the author of Contented Dementia, is not only a bestselling author but he is also a clinical psychologist.
2. Contented Dementia by Oliver James
The book provides groundbreaking and practical methods that can be used to manage dementia while allowing both the patient and caregiver to experience a high-quality life still regardless of the stage of illness. As mentioned, the most common symptom of dementia is forgetfulness, especially of recent events. However, feelings usually stay intact and so do memories of past events.
In the book, James talks about the SPECAL (Specialized Early Care for Alzheimer’s) that can be leveraged by building links between daily activities of the present and past memories so as to substitute for lost information that is more recent. The book not only draws from real-life examples but also discusses user-friendly methods that have been tried and tested giving essential guidance and information for caregivers, professionals, and relatives as well.
3. Dementia: The One-Stop Guide by June Andrews
June Andrews trained as a nurse before taking up opportunities that saw her move from practice to policymaking as well as strategic management and influencing. She has been the Director of the Dementia Services Development Centre at The University of Stirling for more than a decade. Professor Andrews has not only created awareness about dementia, but she has also been an advocate on how to make the life of people living with dementia better.
That’s why her book, Dementia: The One-Stop Guide, is meant to help both dementia patients and their loved ones with practical information as well as support on how to live with the disease or care for a loved one who suffers from dementia. The book provides detailed information on how to recognize the symptoms of dementia, how to get help, staying at home, managing finances, treatment, being a caregiver and above all, staying positive. This is a book that will help you and your family live well and happy for as long as needed.
4. Dementia Guide for Carers and Care Providers by Thames Valley Health Education England
As you can see from the title, this book is meant for people who care for patients suffering from dementia. The book was updated in 2017 with more information on dental care, preventing the onset of dementia and end of life care. The guide provides practical information for people who care for dementia patients. The guide was created in collaboration with carers, healthcare professionals and educators.
The book has six main sections and was first developed in 2012 as part of a research project that was meant to educate carers and give them the needed information when it comes to dealing with dementia.
The main focus of the guide is to give an understanding of how dementia progresses and the challenges that a caregiver is likely to face. While the book focusses on healthy living with dementia, it also outlines some things that both the carer and their patient will need to think about.
5. Dementia Facts and Information by Frederick Earlstein
Dementia Facts & Information: Dementia Types, Diagnosis, Symptoms, Treatment, Causes, Neurocognitive Disorders, Prognosis, Research, History, Myths, and More! Is a book that tries to gather all the current information and knowledge on dementia in one place. Why? This is because while
there are millions of people suffering from the disease, most of the research on the disease is still in its early stages. Worse still is the fact that there
is little public awareness about the disease.
The book is easy to read and is meant for the ordinary guy in the street who wants to understand a thing or two about the condition. The book looks at the different types of dementia, alternative remedies or therapies that can be leveraged by people suffering from the disease as well as the research that has already been done by experts.
6. Dementia for Dummies by Simon Atkins
Dementia for Dummies, UK Edition, is the perfect book if you have a loved one who has recently had a dementia diagnosis and you are seeking support as you adjust to providing your loved with the needed support and care. The guide is brutally honest on what a recent diagnosis may mean for both you and your family.
The guide does not only outline the symptoms of the disease, but it also helps you make sense of the stages of dementia as well as an understanding of the differences between the different types of dementia such as vascular dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. The guide gives you all the scenarios that you may deal with as a carer or as family members while giving you practical solutions on how you can keep your loved one safe and comfortable regardless of the severity of the disease.
7. Finding the Light in Dementia: A Guide for Families, Friends, and Caregivers by Jane M. Mullins
This book by Mullins is a self-help book that paints a picture of the common changes that may occur in your loved one when they get diagnosed with dementia. The book offers valuable tips, suggestions, and approaches strewn from individuals’ stories which can help readers know how to care and maintain a connection with a loved one suffering from dementia.
This book is a perfect buy and read for caregivers who are either direct family members or those who provide support services to dementia patients. The book will help boost your confidence in caring for a loved one by giving you support through the diagnosis, enabling you to understand what the patient is going through, educate you on ways you can communicate and connect with them as well as help you make the needed changes in your home to make your loved one more comfortable among others.
8. Dementia Care (Nursing and Health Survival Guides) by Dawn Brooker and Sue Lillyman
This pocket-sized guide by Dawn Brooker and Sue Lilly man is a quick and straightforward guide that provides you with all the crucial information that you need to know about caring for patients who are suffering from dementia. The book not only focuses on how you can care for a loved one but also looks at how you can communicate and manage the behaviour of your loved one.
In the guide, you will learn how you can assess pain in your loved one as a result of the disease, the needed medication as well as an appropriate nutrition plan for them and advanced care plan among others. Booker and Lillyman make it easy for you to get all the information you need in this simple guide.
9. The Memory Activity Book: Practical Projects to Help with Memory Loss and Dementia by DK, Helen Lambert, and Angela Rippon
One of the common symptoms of dementia is memory loss as well as disorientation. The Memory Activity Book: Practical Projects to Help with Memory Loss and Dementia is a practical activity book that helps in slowing and delaying the symptoms that are common with different types of dementia such as the Alzheimer’s disease. The book provides step-by-step ideas that are meant to stimulate and entertain the brain by benefitting
different parts of it so as to keep the mind fitter for longer.
Each activity in the book has tips and hints on how you can get through an activity as well as how you can adopt different games, physical activities or craft projects by including family as well as friends. The book has different types of activities to suit anyone ranging from interests such as art, gardening to music and gaming.
10. End of Life Care for People with Dementia by Laura Middleton-Green, Jane Chatterjee, Sarah Russell, and Murna Downs
People living with dementia will always need increased specialized care especially as they come near the end of their life. The End of Life Care for People with Dementia by Middleton-Green, Chatterjee, Russell and Downs details how best those in the final stages of dementia can be given better care as well as how to support those providing them with care.
The book also describes how and why dementia patients should be included in decisions pertaining to their end of life care and why it’s important to pay attention to the needs and experiences of the patients themselves at this stage. Readers will get practical knowledge on how they can ensure both emotional and physical wellbeing as well as learn from the examples that outline the potential challenges that will be faced by family members and carers when giving solutions.
The book is handy for both professionals, caregivers, family members, social workers as well as nurses seeking to provide compassionate care for anyone living with dementia.
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