Title: Dementia support for Families and Friends
Author: Dave Pulsford and Rachel Thomson
Publisher: Jessica Kingsley Publishers, 2013
Reviewer: Professor June Andrews, director, Dementia Services Development Centre, University of Stirling
What was it like?
This book describes the complete journey of a person with dementia, from early worries to death. It is described from the point of view of the carer, rather than the person with dementia, though no doubt a person with dementia may wish to read it. The authors outline the problems that may occur at various stages, and give solutions in generally helpful terms.
What were the highlights?
The highlights are the quotes from families about what dementia was like.
Strengths & weaknesses:
A great strength is the knowledge of the writers, but a weakness is the generality of the advice and the assumption that care services are organised in similar ways in English speaking countries for example describing the CQC and saying “other countries will have similar systems”. Either the authors should check that out or leave out the sentence, to be fair to the reader. The challenge that such a book has to meet is that it is competing with the free publications that are being produced in increasing numbers by health authorities and third sector organisations in response to the previous terrible lack of information for carers. The best of this information is highly localised and is kept up to date on the internet. As such, the existence of this book will help to fill the gap for people who are searching for help in a library or through bookshops or outlets such as Amazon. Because it aims to talk to people in all English-speaking countries, it faces another challenge. This is that carers who would be reading this book are often looking for specific information, and the book itself only signposts some of the resources, and in only some of the English-speaking countries. This means that it risks falling between two stools There are some areas that would have benefitted from tighter editing and proofreading, such as grammatical errors and misspelling of names, and more attention to what the illustrations are meant to add.
Who should read it?
This book is intended for families and friends who have little or no previous knowledge of dementia.