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Book Review

The Caregiver’s Guide to Dementia

· Dementia,caregivers,book review

The Caregiver’s Guide to Dementia: Practical Advice For Caring For Yourself And Your Loved One

Gail Weatherill, RN, CAEd

Rockridge Press, California, 2020

Gail Weatherill has written a realistic and practical book, clearly written and easy to read, yet packed with useful information for caregivers of those diagnosed with dementia. As a friend of someone afflicted with this increasingly common scourge of the twenty first century, I recommend this well written book to anyone who wants to understand dementia and learn helpful ways to deal with the most common challenges.

The one thing that would make this informative and insightful book even better for me would be if Weatherill could team with an Australian authority to create an Australian edition that mirrored the legal details embodied in this book primarily aimed at a USA audience. That said, I wish I had been directed to this book when I first learnt of my friend’s diagnosis and recommend it to anyone whose life is affected by the dementia of those around us - and that means most of us in the long run.

Apart from giving us long term value as a reference - the book includes a list of resources, references and a well-compiled index - Weatherill has two important messages that resonate throughout: that while dementia may strip away the brain, the essential humanity of the person remains; and the fundamental importance of caregivers making their own self care a priority -

‘Your mental stability is the single most important factor in your loved one’s quality of life.’.

Some other details that I particularly liked include a clear table showing the differences between ageing and dementia, the suggestions of what to say in tricky situations, and the initial concise descriptions of what is currently known about the most common forms of dementia.

I commend this book and its wisdom to caregivers; and also to friends and family members of those with the diagnosis as well as to those who may be worried about the possibility of a diagnosis.

The book will be released on 21 January 2020.