Books added to the useful reading section for the 2009 update:
Losing Clive to Younger Onset Dementia: One Family’s Story (Paperback) by Helen Beaumont (Author) £12.34*
Clive Beaumont was diagnosed with Younger Onset Dementia at the age of 45 when his children were aged just 3 and 4. Clive’s wife, Helen, tells of how she and the rest of the family coped with the challenge of continually adapting to his progressive deterioration. This story is for the family and friends of people with the condition, for the people themselves, and for the professionals working with them. A reviewer said “Family members of young people with dementia will find this book reflects many of their experiences and emotions as they deal with the ever-shifting nature of the disease as it progresses”
The Wilderness (Paperback) by Samantha Harvey (author)
‘Wilderness’ is the story of Jake, a widower in his mid-sixties who faces the frightening onset of Alzheimer’s. His life is already falling apart, and with his son in prison and his career ended, and as the disease beings to take hold Jake struggles to get a grip on his life story. Is his daughter alive? Long dead? Where did his life go wrong? The more he tries to establish a solid hold on his key memories, the more they seem to change and slip away, as if his mind was losing the distinction between dreams (or nightmares) and reality. ‘Wilderness’ is a compelling look at the aging process, and a powerful story of one man’s attempt to make sense of his life even as he loses his grip on reality. A reviewer said that this is “a sensitive novel told with heart and passion and raises not only questions about what it means to have Alzheimer’s but also what it means to be human and alive and loved”
Remind Me Who I Am, Again (Paperback) by Linda Grant (author)
In 1993 Linda Grant’s mother, Rose, was diagnosed with multi-infarct dementia. With Rose’s memory deteriorating, a whole world was in the process of being lost. In this work she looks at the question of identity, memory and autonomy that dementia raises. A reviewer said “This is a beautifully written book, exploring the consequences of loss – the gradual loss of memory because of illness, the loss of time, or the past, of meaning. This is a book which will have a meaning for anyone touched by Alzheimer’s.
No More Apples for Tom (Paperback) by Marianne Rumens (author)
Marianne Rumens husband, Tom, suffered from the rare form of dementia known as Pick’s Disease (or Fronto Temporal Dementia). He was eventually diagnosed after a long fight to overcome the increasing difficulties of daily life. This book describes their life together and her loving care that was pushed to breaking point. Her book will give encouragement to all those carers fighting with and for the National Health Service and her campaign continues to raise awareness of this little known condition.
* Guide prices taken from Amazon.co.uk May 2009 and subject to change