Book review: The Dementia Diaries

Sue Paxton reviews The Dementia Diaries, designed to help children deal with the impact of dementia on relatives 

This colourful and thoughtfully put together book aims to shed light on the impact of dementia on young relatives.

Dementia Diaries

Described as being a ‘novel in cartoons’, The Dementia Diaries makes liberal use of illustrations and diary entries in the young authors’ own words, and suggests activities to help children deal with their experiences. But while these down-to-earth accounts are revealing, they do not entirely address the sadness, anger and bereavement experienced by relatives.

Some of the behaviour and communication used by older people with dementia might be amusing to others, but I am not sure the book helps children and young people appreciate the range of emotions those with dementia feel. Consequently, the book would assist nurses in understanding the condition.

Useful for families

However, the book does contain some remarkable explanations from young people relaying their relatives’ behavioural changes. This could help others in similar situations and may even assist professionals in understanding how to support people with dementia.

Despite the misplaced humour and occasional flippancy, the book has much to offer families.

The Dementia Diaries | Matthew Snyman | Jessica Kingsley | £9.99 | 128pp | ISBN: | 9781785920325 hardback

Sue Paxton is an independent trainer and consultant in health and social care

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