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In every issue of our Dementia in Scotland magazine, we review dementia-related books. Below are the reviews of two books as featured in our latest edition:

‘The Dementia Whisperer: Scenes from the Frontline of Caring’ by Agnes B. Juhasz

Reviewer: Nicole Nayar, Alzheimer Scotland Information Manager

In The Dementia Whisperer, Agnes B. Juhasz discusses life as a live-in carer for people with dementia. Agnes was originally a journalist in her native Hungary before she went on to study nursing in Australia. She now provides specialist, one-to-one homecare for people with dementia in the UK. The book describes Agnes’ experience of caring for a woman in her 90s who had a diagnosis of dementia. Agnes cared for the woman for four years and writes about this time in a clear and engaging way. She reflects on her own experiences; is honest about the frustrations of caring for a person with dementia; and offers practical advice for fellow carers. Her unfaltering honesty about the highs and lows of being a live-in carer will resonate with many people in the same situation. It shows that caring can be incredibly rewarding despite the difficulties you may experience. Overall, the book is a great resource for anyone affected by dementia and emphasises the true

‘Intellectual Disabilities and Dementia’ by Karen Watchman

Reviewer: Laura Finnan-Cowan, Alzheimer Scotland Self-Directed Support Manager

Intellectual Disabilities and Dementia by Karen Watchman is a reassuring and supportive guide for family members of adults with learning disabilities, who are beginning to consider what a diagnosis of dementia might mean for them. The book is well-balanced and includes important medical facts where necessary, without being too overwhelming. This book takes a positive stance on the lives of people with learning disabilities and their rights. It emphasises that everyone has the right to a good life and the right support – whether they have dementia or not. This perspective is hugely important for families who are often more used to hearing about the deficits and disadvantages of their family member. I think books like this and the information they contain are crucial. Important health and social care needs can often be overlooked when someone with a learning disability is being supported at home or within another care setting. People with learning disabilities and their families need access to resources like this book to arm them with vital information. The more information people have, the less likely they are to feel uncertain or anxious about what lies ahead. Reading this book is also a good launch-pad for families to start having difficult conversations and to plan for their future together. Not only is the information about dementia useful, the details about other prevalent conditions for older people with learning disabilities are also eye-opening. It is essential that we raise awareness of the potential links between dementia and learning disabilities so that people and their families get the information and support they need. This book is an excellent example of how to do this.

These reviews are featured in the latest issue of our Dementia in Scotland magazine which is received by our members. Interested in becoming a member? Find out more.