Active Minds Book Club: Our Top Picks of the Best Books to Help You Understand Dementia

Written by Active Minds on Friday the 18th of August 2017.


If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with dementia, then spending some time understanding the disease, the symptoms and potential treatments is advisable. It will help you, your friends and family feel as prepared as possible.

There are a great deal of resources on offer to help you understand dementia, such as charities, online forums and helplines. However, too often forgotten in this modern day world, are books.

Books are a fantastic resource, packed with information, advice and personal perspectives. Many people mistakenly believe that books about dementia will be purely factual or medical, and worry that they may be either too dense or simply not engaging enough.


However, whilst there are a number of incredibly informative medical books, many books on dementia focus on story-telling. These help people understand the realities of dementia and how it affects people and their loved ones, giving the reader a window into the life of a person living with dementia or their carer. The range of styles available really gives you the chance to find a book that not only informs you but engages you as well.


Here are our top picks:

Understanding Alzheimer’s Disease & Other Dementias

By Dr Nori Graham & Dr James Warner

There is a lot of misinformation and myths about dementia. This book aims to address this by giving the reader a better understanding of what causes the illness and how it is diagnosed and treated. The book is for anyone, both people personally affected by dementia, as well as people who live or work with someone with dementia.


And Still The Music Plays
by Graham Stokes

Graham Stokes, a clinical psychologist, tells 22 stories of people with dementia that he has met. The stories are set at home, in care homes and hospitals and focus on the fact that everyone with dementia is unique, with distinctive personalities and experiences, and it is only by thinking about each person individually that we can respond to their unique needs and give the best possible care.


Dancing with Dementia: My Story of Living Positively with Dementia
By Christine Bryden

Christine Bryden was a high flying civil servant, single handedly raising three children, when she was diagnosed with dementia at 46 years old. This book is a vivid account of her experiences of living with dementia at such a young age, exploring the effects of memory problems, loss of independence, difficulties in communication and the exhaustion of coping with simple tasks.


Can I Tell You About Dementia? A Guide for Family, Friends and Carers
By Jude Welton

This illustrated story is told from the point of view of Jack, an older man with dementia. Jack talks about living with dementia from his perspective, helping the reader to understand the challenges he faces and the changes dementia causes to memory, communication and behaviour. This lovely book is an ideal way to introduce the subject of dementia to children and aid family discussions.