’The Dementia Whisperer is an honest account of a healthcare professional’s experiences of caring for people living with dementia. ’
Title: The Dementia Whisperer. Scenes from the front line of caring
Author: Agnes B Juhasz
Publisher: Hammersmith Health Books
Reviewer: Helen Reeves, clinical lead for community palliative care services, St Giles Hospice
What was it like?
The Dementia Whisperer is a book written by Agnes Juhasz that depicts her own experiences of working with people with dementia. The book is based on true life stories and experiences and how she learned to communicate and establish ongoing rapport with people who have dementia. The book covers a wide range of topics from small victories to survival techniques and stigmas, myths and facts to the secret language. Each chapter provides the authors account of how they managed to cope with difficulties or problems encountered.
What were the highlights?
The honest nature of this book makes it a compelling read. The chapter on shattered minds acknowledges that there is not always a solution to the problem and that sometimes you have to move mountains to make progress. It acknowledges that dementia can be unpredictable and challenging but that it can also have big rewards when breakthroughs are made. I also like the chapter on self-assessment. Here the author highlights the importance of self-assessment and reflection. This is an important aspect that should be considered in all areas of our working life’s. Reflecting back on experiences helps us establish solutions or acknowledge challenges.
Strengths & weaknesses:
The Dementia Whisperer is an honest account of a healthcare professional’s experiences of caring for people living with dementia. These hints and tips are invaluable as they come from lived experiences. However, where I think the book would gain more strength is from backing up the experiences with literature and research that support Agnes Juhasz commentary.
Who should read it?
This book is well placed for all health and social care professionals who want to be more informed on dementia and the impact on people living with dementia.