Our Top 3 Books About Dementia/Alzheimer’s

I am often asked where to find out more about dementia, Alzheimer’s disease, and dementia care. If you prefer to read around subjects, I highly recommend the following as my top 3 books about dementia. All three are highly readable and, whether you are a professional who has been working with people with dementia for many years, or someone looking to support a loved one but with no previous experience of the illness, everyone will take away something from each of these books about dementia.

Contented Dementia by Oliver James

Where it all started for us. When we were looking to support family members living with dementia, and with no prior knowledge of the illness, we stumbled across Contented Dementia and have never looked back. The starting point of the SPECAL method introduced in Contented Dementia is to understand the experience of dementia from the point of view of the person living with dementia. The book describes how memory works, the normal impact of ageing and the change that occurs with the onset of dementia. It then explains the three golden rules of caring for anyone with dementia and the specifics of wraparound care planning for the individual with dementia. For those looking for practical ways to support someone living with dementia, this is the book for you. It offers practical care solutions and a way to take back some control.

I was so inspired by Contented Dementia that several years ago Jo and I went on to train with The Contented Dementia Trust (CDT) in Oxfordshire to become licensed practitioners of their methods. We are passionate advocates of the CDT’s SPECAL method of care and all our caregivers receive SPECALcare training. The CDT run training sessions for friends and family and for health and social care professionals. I have attended both and witnessed the positive impact of the friends and family days on those supporting a loved one with dementia. I can highly recommend the trip to the Cotswolds to attend one of these training days.

Dementia: The One-Stop Guide by June Andrews

This book was originally recommended to us by the spouse and full-time carer of one of our clients with dementia. Dementia: The One-Stop Guide is an invaluable, practical guide for families, professionals and people living with dementia. This book is a great source of information to either read from cover-to-cover or to pull off the shelf and dip into as required. Subjects covered include What is dementia?, Adjusting to the diagnosis, Managing care at home, What you should expect from the social care system and the NHS, important legal issues and much more. The guide is readable and very informative and if you or a loved one are living with dementia then this is definitely an essential, all-round reference to have on your book shelf.

Elizabeth Is Missing by Emma Healey

Elizabeth Is Missing is a complete change from my other two recommendations. This is a novel that isn’t just an addictively thrilling mystery, it is also the most accurate and profoundly moving depiction of dementia I’ve ever read. The “d” word is never mentioned but those living with or loving someone with dementia will recognise and empathise with the experiences the narrator, her daughter and granddaughter. A great read.

We have a small number of each of the above titles available to loan. For any information about any of these books about dementia or other sources of information please call Lucy at The Service Tree on 0115 9455639.


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