’The greatest strength of this book is using real-life experiences of a person living with Alzheimer’s Disease and their carer.’
Title: The Rocky Road of Naughty Neurones: Our Journey with Young Onset Alzheimer’s Disease
Author: Sylvia Bryden-Stock
Publisher: The Book Guild Publishing
Reviewer: Daisy Maradzika
What was it like?
The book gives experiential accounts of those living with Alzheimer’s Disease (AD) including their carers. It covers well the impact of AD on cognition, behavioural, mental, social and physical aspects for both the carer and patient. The author is articulate and open-minded regarding the management of this incurable disease including self-help coping mechanisms beneficial to them as a couple. The book also covers well the management of denial including frustrations that seem to be synonymous with AD, at the same time making the disease lighter by calling it the ”naughty neurones”’. The book is well detailed and is easy to follow especially since it covers both the patient’s and carer’s perspective. As a clinical research nurse working in the field of Alzheimer’s Disease and dementia, the book highlighted those crucial aspects of daily living which unfortunately become a challenge to those affected or living with AD such as time management, performing small tasks (lawn mowing) or remembering dates. It also highlights the powerful impact of learning and gaining more knowledge about AD. This is important in that the more people understand AD, the better prepared everyone will be in supporting carers/people living with these “naughty neurones”.
What were the highlights?
The highlights of the book included the practical tips recommended by the author including getting in touch with memory services as soon as possible because an early diagnosis may lead to better care, support and treatment. In addition, the book also challenges readers to maintain a healthy lifestyle and staying in the moment at all times. Moreover, the book captures the patient experience of living with Alzheimer’s Disease and the impact of this illness on the carer. Another crucial aspect of this book, moreso for the carers is that it is alright to ventilate rather than bottling up unhealthy emotions as that has a negative impact on one’s own mental and physical well-being. The book could have been more balanced had it included the perspective/views of the patient’s other family members who tried to stop Sylvia and Brian from getting married. However, I feel the book remains an empowering tool for those that are living with AD on a daily basis.
Strengths & weaknesses:
The greatest strength of this book is using real-life experiences of a person living with Alzheimer’s Disease and their carer.
Who should read it?
People with early onset Alzheimer’s Disease, carers, mental health professionals and other healthcare professionals.