Book Recommendations about Dementia and Alzheimer’s for Carers and Families
With a new Dementia or Alzheimer’s diagnosis it can be helpful to find comfort and support from the words of others that know of or have been through a similar experience.
Whether you are looking for a book concentrating more on educational purposes, a relatable fictional story or first-hand experiences, we’ve put together a list of book recommendations about Dementia and Alzheimer’s to help get you started.
What I Wish People Knew About Dementia, by Wendy Mitchell
Known more for her first book ‘Somebody I Used to Know’ (also A Sunday Times Bestseller), this follow up book is a chatty easy read packed with great insights, anecdotes and stories from Wendy’s own experiences of a dementia diagnosis. The book emphasises that everyone’s dementia is different, just as individuals they are different before a diagnosis so there are experiences from other people as well as her own. She lives alone, through the help of her family, friends and neighbours and talks candidly about struggles and frustrations around relationships, food, room/building designs, as well as many other frustrations encountered.
Creating Moments of Joy Along the Alzheimer’s Journey: A Guide for Families and Caregivers, by Jolene Brackey
A bite-sized book that allows you to focus on what is in front of you and perhaps a welcome relief from a lot of materials that focus on purely negative possibilities/scenarios of the disease. It’s been described as a key book for anyone who is looking to transform the hardship into a life-affirming experience for both carer and the diagnosed individual.
The 36-Hour Day: A Family Guide to Caring for People Who Have Alzheimer Disease and Other Dementias, by Nancy Mace and Peter Rabins
A realistic guide book described as the book that really ‘gets’ what you are going through, while offering both constructive and compassionate advice.
We Are Not Ourselves, by Matthew Thomas
Hailed as ‘The Greatest Alzheimer’s Novel’ by The New Yorker. It’s as full of love as it is heartbreaking. The story follows a family where one family member is affected by early-onset Alzheimer’s, it took 10 years to write and the authors father had the disease as does the father character in the book.
Still Alice, by Lisa Genova
Another fictional book adapted in 2014 into a film also. Described as sad, heartwarming and with touches of humour throughout, it follows the lives of Alice and her family after her diagnosis. Alice takes readers through her journey of maintaining her independence and experiencing her life to the fullest. A page turning book that does shed some light to a condition about losing your memory.
There is no right/wrong or single way to learn and process a Dementia or Alzheimer’s diagnosis, as the books reflect every diagnosis and individual is unique and different. Hopefully research and these books possibly will give you skills and opportunity to learn from other’s from coping mechanisms to making the best days of it. It’s not the end but a beginning of something new.