The Whitworths of Arizona, bringing science to you in everyday language.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Books by People with Dementia

Here are some books that show what dementia is like from a very personal view:

Life in the Balance, A Physician’s Memoir of Life, Love and Loss with Parkinson’s Disease and Dementia, by Thomas Graboys and Peter Zheutlin (2008) was one of the first books we read about LBD. It shows the effort a person with even early LBD must make to appear “normal.” Dr. Graboys was a well-known cardiologist and so his book can get somewhat clinical but it is still an easy read.

The next two books are by men who were diagnosed with Early Onset Alzheimer’s Disease (EOAD) in their fifties. However, many of the symptoms they discuss are also common with LBD. (And we know that most dementias aren’t pure—they might have LBD as well!)

Don’t Bury Me, It Ain’t Over Yet by Charles Schneider (March 6, 2006) is well worth reading, if only for his chapter on what’s it like to have dementia. Charlie has been active on the LBDA forums. His book is shorter and less professional than Dr. Graboys’ book, but then Charlie wrote his by himself and Graboys had Zheutlin to help him.

While I Still Can, by Rick Phelps and Gary Joseph Leblanc is written in third person but Leblanc, but it is definitely Rick’s story. Leblanc was a caregiver for his father who had AD and so he adds his own experiences. The back of the book is filled with valuable caregiver suggestions. Rick hosts a Facebook page called Memory People where dementia victims and their caregivers post. I continue to be impressed by the articulate posts by Rick and other people with dementia. Their first hand experiences have helped me understand this disorder better and  might help you gain insight into the minds of your loved ones.

And finally, Still Alice (2009) is a novel by Lisa Genova, written from the point of view of a very brilliant woman diagnosed with EOAD at age 50. Although it is written as fiction, it rings true. The author did her research well. And she writes a very good, very interesting story as well. This book has been on the New York Times best seller’s list and won several prizes.

Of course all of these books are available from Amazon via the LBD Book Corner on our website. Thank you for starting your book search there. Amazon pays us a few cents for each book (or anything else, for that matter) you buy. BTW, I recently made a large non-book purchase from Amazon. I spent a lot of time doing some research about which article to buy. I’d gone to Amazon originally via the Book Corner, but the next day, I went back to buy my chosen article, I forgot to do that—just went directly to the item—and we lost the commission! Don’t be like me--please remember to go through our website every time! Thank you for your help.

Website: Bookstore: LBD Book Corner

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