You just found out that a loved one has dementia. You know there’s a lot to learn and understand about dementia care: how best to communicate, what dementia is, where a person with dementia can live, and how to deal with the physical and behavioral challenges that you’ll be facing. But where do you start? Many of the books you’ll find on dementia have been published by caregivers without the help of a major publisher. There is a lot of information out there, but you want to make sure what you’re learning is true and informative. I’ve read a lot of books on dementia care, but here are the ones I truly recommend.
Here we give you a list of books on different dementia care topics:
- The Handbook of Alzheimer’s Disease and Other Dementias by Budson and Kowall, Wiley Publishing
What is this book: This is for the people who really want to know what dementia is. I would not recommend it for someone without a strong science background. I loved this book because it taught me a lot about dementia, but it is a long, challenging read. The authors delve into a lot of medicine and science, but if you really want to understand how dementia affects the brain, this is the book for you.
When should I read it: For the casual reader, this may never be one you pick up. However, for those with some scientific understanding of dementia, as soon as you want to know more about the topic.
- When Someone You Know is Living in a Dementia Care Community by Rachael Wonderlin, Johns Hopkins University Press
What is this book: Okay, so this may seem like a shameless plug, but this is my book. I wanted to write a book about moving a loved one into a care community, because there are almost zero resources for people looking to make that transition. I cover topics like how to communicate with someone who has dementia, what dementia is, how to look for a care community, how to make that first move-in day a better one, how to visit a loved one, and how to cope with challenges of senior housing.
When should I read it: Sooner rather than later. Most people do not consider dementia care housing for a person with dementia until it’s way too late in the game. This book is best for a caregiver whose loved one is in an earlier to moderate stage of dementia.
- Fractured Memories by Emily Page
What is this book: Emily Page is an artist who lost her father to Frontotemporal Lobar Dementia, or FTD for short. She self-published this book and it is in a story-type format. It is really interesting, honest, and even funny at times.
When should I read it: While I don’t think your loved one needs to have an FTD diagnosis to read this book, it would definitely help you most if they did. In either case, caregivers would find a lot of comfort and camaraderie in this book. I recommend it for caregivers whose loved ones are in a moderate or later stage of dementia.
- The 36-Hour Day by Peter Rabins and Nancy Mace, Johns Hopkins University Press
What is this book: This is the most well-read book on dementia care…ever. This book has been around for over thirty years, and I am proud to say that I share a publisher with this book!
When should I read it: Soon after (or before!) a diagnosis of dementia. This book is long, but it has a lot to give. Most people recognize this book as “the” book to read about dementia care.
- Still Alice by Lisa Genova, Gallery Books
What is this book: While this book is fiction, it is written by a neuroscientist, so you know that she is giving you an accurate depiction of early-onset Alzheimer’s. Let me be clear: I did not like the movie. However, I read this book years ago, and it still sticks with me. It’s written from the perspective of the person with dementia, which I think is really unique.
When should I read it: Anytime, but especially when you’re first learning about dementia.