Title: Dementia and the family
Author: Rachel Johnstone
Publisher: Southgate Publishers
Reviewer: Carol Cooper, senior lecturer in mental health nursing, Sheffield Hallam University
What was it like?
This thin book (which is reflected in reasonable price) is aimed at families of people with dementia and in particular the children in these families. It begins with an overview of how to talk to children about this difficult topic and moves on to outline practical advice on how to care for a loved one with dementia. It is designed to be used alongside a website that has been developed to also address this topic. It also goes on to give a list of 160 activities that are suggested for engaging the person with dementia and other members of the family (or carers). It leaves the reader with the sense that despite the problems that invariably dementia brings there are positive ways of engaging with people with memory problems and that this can be fun, leaving happy memories for those who care.
What was it like?
Clear and simple language with practical advice for carers of people with dementia regarding activities. I particularly liked the ideas for how to broach this subject with children.
Strengths & weaknesses:
A simple easy to read book with clear outlines of 160 simple activities for people with dementia. It could be a bit frustrating if you don’t have access to the internet though as in the initial part of the book it frequently directs you to sections of the website to enhance your learning.
Who should read it?
This is a book that is aimed at families although the author does suggest that other carers, either paid or unpaid might also benefit from the ideas contained within it and I have no reason to disagree with this.