Dementia: The One-Stop Guide: Practical advice for families, professionals, and people living with dementia and Alzheimer's Disease by June Andrews
|Dementia: The One-Stop Guide: Practical advice for families, professionals, and people living with dementia and Alzheimer's Disease by June Andrews|
|Reviewer: Sue Magee|
|Summary: So few books which claim the be 'one stop' actually live up to the billing, but this one does and it should be read by everyone over the age of fifty. Highly recommended.|
|Buy? Yes||Borrow? Yes|
|Pages: 256||Date: February 2015|
|Publisher: Profile Books|
|External links: Author's website|
Worldwide there are probably as many as 44.4 million people who suffer from dementia and many times that number of family, friends, carers and relatives who are affected by what is happening to the sufferer. There's no cure, but it's not terminal and the symptoms (memory loss would seem to be the most common, but in some cases there are hallucinations, sexual or verbal disinhibition, not being able to work things out, difficulty in learning something new, finding your way about, or coping with the normal symptoms of aging) affect everyone involved. If you talk to people who are aging then it's not uncommon for them to say that they'd rather have cancer than dementia as you're unlikely to be an endless burden on other people.
Professor June Andrews is an international dementia care expert and she's written her 'one-stop guide' with the intention of making it easy for sufferers and those about them to cope with what's happening and to navigate the systems which the NHS and local bureaucracy will throw in front of them. I'm always sceptical when I see something described as 'one-stop guide' as they usually turn out to be lacking in some areas, but having read this book (in a couple of sittings - it was an easy and engrossing read) I'm struggling to think of anything which I think should have been included, but wasn't.
I'm now well into my seventh decade and so far as I can tell in good physical and mental health so I was tempted to let this book pass me by but then thought that it couldn't hurt just to check and I'm glad that I did - I'd even go so far as to say that anyone over fifty should read this book. It's not just restricted to description of the symptoms and how you can cope (although there are some good coping strategies and simple design changes which you can make in the home which can help) but there are pointers which healthy people should take into account and simple provisions which they can make which should make life easier in the event of a serious illness - and not just dementia.
The book is excellent in all its sections but I was particularly impressed by the chapters on how to cope with hospital stays and what to do when long-term care becomes inevitable. There's guidance on how to be proactive with hospitals and care homes and how to ensure that you get the best care for the sufferer. There's even a sample letter should you need to make a formal complaint.
I don't keep many books which I review (Oxfam have a pressing need and we don't have the space) but this is one book which I've no intention of passing on. It's a well-written work of reference should I - or anyone around me - have need of it and it's a book which will be used on a regular basis as we age. Our first step is going to be to execute powers of attorney so that we can be certain that our wishes will be carried out in the event of serious illness and we're also looking into the question of making living wills. I found the book thought provoking and I'm slightly worried about how easy it would be to find myself - or someone I love - at the mercy of an overstretched healthcare system.
I'd like to thank the publishers for sending a copy to the Bookbag.
For thoughts about care at the end of life we can recommend Hospice Voices: Lessons for Living at the End of Life by Eric Lindner. You might also find One Hundred Names For Love: A Stroke, a Marriage, and the Language of Healing by Diane Ackerman thought-provoking. For fiction on this subject Elizabeth is Missing by Emma Healey is difficult to better.
You can read more book reviews or buy Dementia: The One-Stop Guide: Practical advice for families, professionals, and people living with dementia and Alzheimer's Disease by June Andrews at Amazon.co.uk
You can read more book reviews or buy Dementia: The One-Stop Guide: Practical advice for families, professionals, and people living with dementia and Alzheimer's Disease by June Andrews at Amazon.com.
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