TELLING TALES ABOUT DEMENTIA – Experiences of Caring Edited by: Lucy Whitman – BOOK REVIEW

Image obtained from www.netgalley.com

Image obtained from http://www.netgalley.com

TELLING TALES ABOUT DEMENTIA – Experiences of Caring
Edited by: Lucy Whitman

Publication Date: March 2, 2015

Genre: Non-Fiction, Health

Length: 224 pages

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

* I received a free electronic copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

This book is a collection of personal accounts by family caregivers who have taken care of a loved one suffering from dementia.

“How do you cope alone with your loved one’s slow loss of rational thought and behavior? You cannot – and you need not. The single most valuable achievement of this book is to tell carers they are not alone.” – John Suchet – Broadcaster and patron of For Dementia who is caring for his wife, who has dementia.

From the Foreword: “With all of us living longer, and facing the real possibility of outliving our own sanity, we need all the research and assistance we can get.”

I believe that this is an important book and not only for those who are currently dealing with dementia or taking care of someone who suffers from it. With the number of baby boomers reaching the danger zone for dementia onset (age 70 +) there is little doubt in my mind that dementia will touch everyone’s life in some way in the coming years.

It is easy to overlook this disease as something that happens to other people, but how could it hurt to have some knowledge about this disease? As the saying goes, “Knowledge is power.”

The majority of the stories in this book come from the United Kingdom, including England and Ireland, but dementia is not a localized disease. Dementia is just as much an issue in the United States and Canada as it is in the UK. Perhaps by reading these stories people will come to a greater understanding of what dementia is and how it affects not only the person who has been diagnosed but also their family and friends.

In the story “The Most Difficult Decision of my Life” by Debbie Jackson the fact that dementia affects people from all walks of life is clearly demonstrated. In in the 1960s Debbie and her husband left their successful careers ( he was a lawyer, she was a social worker) in Capetown, South Africa to move to London, England. They had both been active in the anti-apartheid movement. These are smart, educated, civil-minded people who should have had many decades of intelligent debates left in them. This story highlights the tragedy of dementia. So many brilliant minds are effectively lost to this horrific disease.

You would think that reading all these stories about dementia and the decline in people’s health and quality of life would be depressing. But that is simply not true. For me, what most struck me about this book was the love that clearly shines through in each and every story. That kind of love and dedication is inspiring. Everyone should be as lucky (yes, I said lucky) as the dementia sufferers in this book. They may have been unlucky in health, but they have been blessed when it comes to love from spouses, children, family and friends. Imagine how much worse it would be to suffer from this disease if you were all alone in the world. That is a truly scary vision.

I believe that everyone should read this book, whether you know someone who suffers from dementia or Alzheimer’s or not. I give this book a much deserved 5 star rating and I will be recommending this book to family, friends and even strangers. ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

To learn more about dementia visit: http://m.alz.org/what-is-dementia.asp

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