Add to Queue: boom saloon’s dementia reading list

words – rachel arthur

Over 850,000 people in the UK are living with dementia; this figure is projected to rise to 1.6 million by 2040. As dementia’s prevalence grows apace, many of us find ourselves unequipped to deal with the effects of this until it is too late – only learning how this collective term can affect our memories, thoughts and communication skills when it touches us directly. In cases of rapid progression, this leaves little time for education and understanding. 

Amidst a landscape of promises of a cure, sensationalist headlines and inaccessible medical reports, it can prove challenging to source understandable, reliable information. To help combat this, we’re dedicating this month’s Add to Queue to a series of dementia focussed books – many from those with lived experience of dementia – to encourage us all to educate and inform ourselves on this important conversation. 


01_Dementia: The one-stop guide by June Andrews

Practical and no-nonsense, this book shares clear and informative insights on every aspect of the dementia journey – from recognising symptoms and getting help to treatment options, maintaining health, becoming a carer and managing financially. 


02_What I wish people knew about dementia by Wendy Campbell

Divided into six sections – Senses, Relationships, Communication, Environment, Emotion and Attitude – this book acts as a kind of how-to for those living with dementia and the family and friends supporting them. Focussing on particular difficulties faced day to day and how to overcome them, Campbell’s guide encourages us all to face up to the realities of dementia whilst living with hope.


03_The 36 hour day by Nancy L. Mace and Peter V. Rabbins

At once authoritative and compassionate, this much trusted resource is authored by experts with decades of experience caring for individuals with memory loss, Alzheimer’s and other dementias. Informed by recent research and filled with useful takeaways, The 36 Hour Day covers everything from the causes of dementia to caring for those in the later stages of their dementia journey.


04_Talking Sense: Living with Sensory Changes and Dementia by Agnes Houston

Formed of chapters dedicated to each of our five senses, this unique book provides invaluable insights for those looking to support people living with sensory challenges. Featuring a culmination of more than a decade of research by Houston after she was diagnosed with younger onset dementia in 2006, Talking Sense explores the impact of ageing and dementia on vision, hearing, taste and smell, position sense and balance, and touch.


05_Dear Alzheimer’s: A Diary of Living with Dementia by Keith Oliver

Keith Oliver was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease when he was 55; as a teacher, his days had always been filled with writing, which he took to again to help him “deal with the hard days.” Dear Alzheimer’s shares Oliver’s story via diary format, interspersed with letters to Alzheimer’s itself.


06_Sizzling Bacon by A. F. Scott

An excellently penned account of living with dementia for children, Sizzling Bacon breaks down a number of common symptoms of the early stages of dementia in a realistic yet understandable manner. Touching and heartfelt, the story focuses on the love of a family undertaking the dementia journey and all that can still be celebrated and achieved.

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