The key to raising awareness of dementia is through information and education, and a good place to start is by reading and watching as much as you can about the subject. Both fiction and non-fiction books and DVDs are useful for this, and can be an effective means of discovering information on dementia and the challenges it presents. These are the types of books and DVDs that you might find useful if you’re affected by dementia.
Books and eBooks
You’ve only recently become interested in dementia and want to read up on as much as possible about the topic, either through paperback or eBooks.
Products to help
Sometimes it helps to read books that help you understand what being a carer means and inspire you to be the very best that you can be. Providing care for a person with dementia is a full time job but reading books such as these can help you to prepare for the road ahead.
Try: Contented Dementia by Oliver James.
– Personal stories
Learning from the experiences of people who’ve been there can be enormously useful for someone who is embarking on the dementia journey. That’s why personal stories of carers and people who have dementia can be a good book choice. It really helps to know there are other people who are going through a similar experience.
Try: Keeping Mum by Marianne Talbot or Telling Tales About Dementia edited by Lucy Whitman.
Despite being fiction, novels about dementia can still be helpful for family carers or people living in the early stages of dementia. This is often because the author will have carried out massive amounts of research into the condition and symptoms before applying it to their story, (or may have personal experience themselves) so they can be a very enjoyable yet useful way of expanding your knowledge.
Try: Elizabeth is Missing by Emma Healey or We Are Not Ourselves by Matthew Thomas.
– Brain training
Can brain training exercises really work to slow the progression of dementia or keep you from developing it? This is a topic that is often disputed. Maybe they can, maybe they can’t but it doesn’t hurt to try if this appeals to you. Check out our range books that are intriguing and fun.
Try: Large Print Word Search Puzzles 3
– Dementia explained
Get a basic understanding of what causes dementia, what happens to the brain of a person with Alzheimer’s and what are the stages of dementia. Often more scientific in their approach, many get down to the nitty gritty that few people feel the need to explore.
Try: Alzheimer’s: The Essential Guide by Jackie Cosh
When you’re trying to do a thousand other things for your loved one with dementia, the last thing you need is to worry whether the food you’re preparing is healthy. Dementia-related cookbooks not only educate you on what to expect during this journey but can also provide recipes for appropriate, nutritious meals.
Try: Cooking for People with Dementia by Claudia Menebroecker
Looking for fun ways to keep your loved one with dementia from being bored or feeling isolated? There are a wide range of books that can assist you in inspiring your loved to be connected and engaged in the world around them.
Try: Therapeutic Art Activities by Vernada Thomas
These products can help by…
Providing another angle on dementia and keeping the reader informed.
Good to know
The novel Still Alice by Lisa Genova, which was made into an Oscar-winning film starring Julianne Moore, has been prescribed to patients who have dementia. It is one of 25 titles on the Reading Well Books on Prescription scheme, which is backed by GPs, mental health professionals and government ministers and sees patients being “prescribed” set books to read.
You want to help family and friends develop a greater understanding of dementia and the challenges it presents, but they’re unlikely to want to read a pile of books.
Products to help
– Educational & documentary DVDs
There have been increasing amounts of educational documentaries that can help develop our knowledge and understanding of dementia. While some are shown only on television, others are films which you can buy on DVD.
Try: The Unspooling Mind which looks at the human toll of dementia, Alive Inside which looks at the benefits of music for dementia care, or Planning for Hope which follows the experiences of a woman diagnosed with frontotemporal dementia (often called Pick’s disease).
– Fictional DVDS
Like novels, a fictional depiction of Alzheimer’s or dementia holds no less resonance for someone who is affected or caring for a person with the condition. Watching dementia portrayed on film can be a good first introduction to it if it’s something that the person knows very little about, but is best done in conjunction with further details from books or documentaries to ensure they’re properly informed.
Try: Still Alice starring Julianne Moore, Away From Her starring Julie Christie and The Savages starring Philip Seymour Hoffman.
These products can help by…
Informing others about dementia, bringing the topic into the mainstream and reducing the stigma around talking about the condition.
Look out for ‘dementia-friendly’ cinema screenings at locations around the country. Talk to the manager of your local cinema to find out if they are putting dementia-friendly daytime film screenings on or plan to do so in the future. They’re often old films that are enjoyable, light-hearted and likely to spark memories in people affected by dementia. The cinema is usually kept slightly lighter in case the person with dementia needs to get up and move around and people going are warned that there may be talking and movement during the performance.