Book review: Somebody I used to know

Admiral Nurse Wendy Mountford reviews Wendy Mitchell’s dementia memoir

Somebody I used to know
Wendy Mitchell
£16.99 | 320pp
ISBN: 9781408893364 

Wendy Mitchell has given a brave and honest insight into her lived experience of early onset dementia. The insidious nature of dementia is captured throughout the book, alongside the difficulty in obtaining a diagnosis and useful post-diagnostic support. 

In this memoir, Wendy demonstrates her resourcefulness and tenacity as aspects of her life are changing, becoming a master at ‘when life gets blurry, adjust your focus’. She has found a new purpose – increasing awareness of dementia so that people living with the condition are less marginalised. 

Wendy is inspirational in her commitment to making a difference to people and in reminding us all of the importance of living in the moment.

A heartfelt fear of not being able to recognise her daughters in the future is discussed at points in the book. Readers are asked to consider the memory they would least want to lose and send it by a postcard on social media – this is something that I am still struggling to consider. 

In conclusion, the book is an easy, but sometimes difficult, read. 

I would recommend all healthcare professionals and formal/informal carers involved in caring for a person with dementia read this book – one I am happy to add to my personal collection.

Reviewed by Wendy Mountford, Admiral Nurse, Douglas Macmillan Hospice, Staffordshire

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