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5 insightful books on dementia you should read

  • In: Health | 24th September, 2020

Living with dementia, Alzheimer’s disease or other associated forms of memory loss can be a challenging and extremely overwhelming time. Not just for the person living with the disease but for friends, family and caregivers alike.

While there is plenty of information out there in the world on the subject, it can also become overwhelming trying to make sense of it all. From word of mouth to best-selling lists and endless amounts of literature on the internet, how do you know where to find concise, compassionate and helpful resources to try and both understand and manage dementia?

With this in mind, if you or a loved one is living with the disease, here are our 5 must-read books on dementia and Alzheimer’s to help offer some insight, assistance and supportive tips for how best to manage daily life.

  1. The 36-Hour Day, by Nancy L Mace and Peter V Rabins

Recognised as a trusted source of literature for families and loved ones affected, this compelling book on dementia covers all aspects. Starting with the very basics to more advanced assistance when it comes to confusion and memory loss, there are helpful suggestions from how to plan the day to special arrangements if a family member gets sick.

Covering a broad range of accessible information, the book also offers support in the form of financial and legal issues and the usefulness of finding support groups, both for those living with the disease to those caring for loved ones, who may also need support themselves.

The 36-Hour Day is often referred to as the “Bible” when it comes to dementia caregiving, providing useful, understandable and accessible guidance for caregivers of dementia patients. Lending itself as a care guide, it contains insightful information and practical tips with an overall aim to help improve the lives of those with dementia alongside any caregivers.

  1. Chicken Soup for the Soul: Living with Alzheimer's & Other Dementias: 101 Stories of Caregiving, Coping, and Compassion, by Amy Newmark and Angela Geiger

One of the most touching books on dementia, this version of “Chicken Soup for the Soul” recounts 101 inspiring stories from relatable people who are in a caregiving role for those living with dementia. A literary source of support, this insightful collection focuses on stories of positivity, challenges and love. Touching upon every human emotion, you can expect to find comfort, shed a tear or two and even laugh to your heart’s content at the thought-provoking nature.

The book contains stories written by people from many different areas, writing about their own family members and loved ones and how dementia and Alzheimer’s has affected their lives. Alongside emotionally charged stories, this book offers tales of humour and hope, with compassion embedded in every page. It may take you a while to make your way through the chapters, but it will be oh so worth it when you do.

  1. Living Your Best with Early-Stage Alzheimer’s: An Essential Guide, by Lisa Snyder

This particular book is seen as exactly what it says in the title - an essential guide for people diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease as well as their loved ones. Offering advice for those in the early stages of Alzheimer’s, it’s a popular resource, containing helpful information and practical suggestions.

Practical and easy to understand, the book focuses on how best to manage symptoms and how to make plans for the future. It also advises on how people can help to build and maintain the important relationships that come with the disease. As a handy guide, it’s also easy to refer back to with structured chapters and subchapters.

As a “working guide”, this must-read book encourages those living with early-onset Alzheimer's to feel more empowered to live their lives in the best and most positive way after receiving the diagnosis.

  1. Learning to Speak Alzheimer’s: A Groundbreaking Approach for Everyone Dealing with the Disease, by Joanne Koenig Coste

If you’re looking for a practical book on dementia, this could well be one on your must-read list. The author enlists a pragmatic approach when it comes to how to manage the emotional repercussions of a person living with dementia alongside their caregiver.

Touching on all sorts of questions, this insightful book offers a whole host of practical tips, including:

  • How to cope with the diagnosis and help to adjust in your daily life
  • Helping to encourage the person to open up about the disease
  • Tackling the more practical aspects of living with Alzheimer’s, such as making necessary adjustments around the house
  • How to make mealtimes and bath times as agreeable and enjoyable as possible.
  • Dealing with behavioural traits, such as paranoia and aggression

As well as providing useful advice on how to help people with the disease, it also emphasises what not to do when trying to help, which can be extremely useful for caregivers.

  1. 100 Simple Things You Can Do to Prevent Alzheimer's and Age-Related Memory Loss, by Jean Carper.

With a slightly different approach on the subject, this particular book on dementia explores actions people can take to help either slowdown or to avoid the onset of dementia, and Alzheimer’s in particular. The author, Jean Carper is a best-selling author, who upon discovering she had the Alzheimer's gene, decided to find out if there were any steps she could take to help.

In one of the most helpful books on dementia, she informs readers of the simple things they can incorporate into their everyday life to minimise the risk, such as:

  • Incorporating certain foods into your daily diet
  • Taking vitamins
  • Daily exercise
  • Exploring new activities
  • Increasing your social circle
  • The importance of a good night’s sleep
  • Building “Cognitive Reserve”

Reassuring and full of useful, practical advice, this particular book can help make people feel empowered to do all they can in order to help avoid the onset of dementia.

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