Readers tell us what they think about an updated guide to understanding Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias.
The authors this book couldn’t come with a higher professional standing. Apart from Nori Graham being a Vice-President of the Society and of Alzheimer’s Disease International, she and James Warner both have years of experience as consultants in old age psychiatry.
Caroline Branney, who manages our Dementia Knowledge Centre, says, ‘This compact guide sets out to answer people’s questions in clear language without assuming an in-depth medical understanding.’
‘It looks to be a very useful addition to our armoury in our struggles with Alzheimer’s,’ says Harry.
Caroline adds, ‘Whether you want to know about the symptoms of dementia, more about how your brain works or to learn about treatments for dementia, this book will support you.’
Harry Homan, a reader in Cornwall, says, ‘This is an excellent little book and much appreciated.
‘It looks to be a very useful addition to our armoury in our struggles with Alzheimer’s.’
This is the second edition of a book recommended on Reading Well’s Books on Prescription for dementia, which means it will also be widely available from public libraries.
Jo Weston, in Cambridgeshire, works for a charity that supports research into dementia.
She says, ‘Once I picked it up, I pretty much read it straight through. I thought the book packed in so much information about the various types of dementia, a topic I knew little about before reading.’
Caroline underlines the difference that getting the right information at the right time can make.
‘A diagnosis of dementia often leads to anguish and worry,’ she says. ‘For people diagnosed and their family and friends, this is the start of a new aspect to their lives and there can be a steep learning curve to find out more about Alzheimer’s disease and other kinds of dementia.’
Jo adds, ‘This book has provided me with a wealth of knowledge to understand so much more about what the diseases are, how they are diagnosed and managed, and what people can expect to have to deal with.’
Calm and clear
Caroline likes the way the book is presented – it is clearly laid out, with short paragraphs and interspersed with helpful bullet points.
‘I especially like the bullet points in the chapter Getting Help,’ she says, ‘which describe the roles of professionals such as neurologists, Admiral Nurses and occupational therapists.
‘In the Questions and Answers chapter, there is clear guidance in response to some frequently asked queries such as, “Who will pay for my mother’s care home?” and “How will I know if I am developing dementia?”
‘The authors make effective use of case studies in the chapter about treatment. There’s an example of how advice from a community nurse helped someone caring for a partner at home whose agitation was reduced by taking them out regularly for a short walk.
‘Another case describes how someone with memory loss was helped to remember the names of plants he loved after a couple of months taking the drug donepezil.’
‘The style of the book is calm, clear and ultimately very digestible,’ says Jo.
Caroline adds, ‘There are also many practical tips, particularly in the chapter called Living with dementia. Each chapter concludes with a box of text containing key points, neatly summarising the discussion.’
Jo agrees, ‘The style of the book is calm, clear and ultimately very digestible, and understandable for non-medical readers. What an excellent pocket guide, providing both detail and summaries in each very relevant chapter.
‘It would be easy to pick it up to refer to any given topic at a later date as the relevant sections are easy to find and there is also a full index.’
Caroline adds, ‘I echo Sally Magnusson’s words in her review of this book, “This is the book I wish I’d had while accompanying my mother on her long dementia journey. The information we were desperate for is here… it could make all the difference to caregivers.”’
A pocket guide to understanding Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias, by James Warner and Nori Graham (Jessica Kingsley, 2018), 160 pages, £9.99, ISBN: 9781785924583.
We invite you to read Will I still be me? by Christine Bryden (Jessica Kingsley, 2018), 144 pages, £12.99, ISBN: 9781785925559.
Let us know what you think about this book by 7 January 2019 so we can share it in our next magazine.