Title: Dementia: The one stop guide.
Author: June Andrews
Publisher: Profile Books
Reviewer: Liz Lees, PhD Student, NIHR, University of Manchester and Consultant Nurse, The Heart of England NHS Foundation Trust, Birmingham.
What was it like?
This book has 15 chapters in total loaded with practical examples of how to manage the issues surrounding daily life with dementia. I found the book uplifting with a positive emphasis throughout. The book rockets you into the world of people with dementia and those who care for them. It is well written providing clarity on issues in bite sized chunks.
Even with considerable experience of the topic I gained a new perspective about things I had previously considered “learnt”. In many ways this issues faced and ideas countered within this book are reminiscent of with living my Dad, who since a very young age was profoundly deaf, the strategies are undoubtedly similar.
What were the highlights?
Chapter 9; entitled “the dementia friendly home” and chapter 5, “what are friends for?” with their focus on inclusion, empowerment and personhood - all examples being placed of being in the context of how life is, rather than constructions or stories. An elderly relative of mine caring for his wife with dementia described this book “as clear and very helpful”.
Strengths & weaknesses:
I cannot find anything that I don’t like about this book. I particularly liked the focus on inclusion of the demented person in activities of daily living and of continuing to live with a quality of life not exist. It will make readers take a step back to consider their usual way of doing things and whether a new approach might work better.
Who should read it?
This book is not technical or greatly scientific or academic. It would most benefit anyone a person with a diagnosis of dementia and those intending to work closely with a person with dementia and their family/carers. It is not a book about “how to nurse” or “how to fix problems”. It is about how to understand and work closely with a person with dementia. The sense they will get will be of reality – of being in a demented persons world. Certainly students of social work, nursing, health care assistants and friends or family in a caring role will benefit too.