June 21, 2016 Theo Brainin

The Importance of Dementia Focused Books

If you’ve found this blog post you are most likely looking for help finding a “dementia book”. Whether you have or are in contact with someone who has recently been diagnosed, hopefully you’ll find the answers you’re looking for.

What is Dementia?

Dementia is an illness that impacts the lives of thousands of people everywhere. It is not quite a disease as many people think. “Dementia” is the umbrella term used to describe the collection of symptoms that occur when brain cells are damaged. It primarily presents in people over the age of 65. Every 3 seconds someone in the world is diagnosed and each case is a unique experience. Presently, in the UK, there are over 85,000 people living with Dementia.

Dementia is a progressive illness. This means it will get worse with time. Commonly noted changes amongst people who have diagnosed are: loss of memory, difficulty communicating and personality changes. Learning to live with dementia is a tough process for everyone involved. It is no surprise that people look for help on how to deal with this situation.

Where do their searches bring them?

To books.

So what exactly is a “Dementia Book”?

cover of title novel Still Alice by Lisa Genova

In the most basic of sense, a “Dementia book” is a book about Dementia. The majority of these books are non-fiction. But sometimes dementia is a theme in a fiction title. For example, Still Alice by Lisa Genova. 

There are several types of non-fiction books that appear when you combine “dementia” and “book” in a search bar. They are listed below.



An educational tool for:

    • Researchers who specialise in Alzheimer disease and similar illnesses.
    • The diagnosed person.
    • Adult family and friends.
    • Children or family and friends with learning difficulties.

A memoir written by:

    • The diagnosed person.
    • A relative or friend of a person diagnosed with Dementia.

A picture book

    • For much younger children or family and friends with learning difficulties.
    • For the diagnosed person to enjoy when their illness progresses and they find it hard to read words.

A “Memory” book

These are similar to activity books. They are filled with the memories of the diagnosed person. This is so the memories are not lost as the dementia progresses. Memory books allow family to remember and re-learn the diagnosed person’s life along with them.

Why do these “Dementia Books” exist?

To educate Diagnosticians and Carers

Books that document research dementia are vital in educating the people who verify diagnoses and care for the diagnosed.

To help to understand the diagnosis

 Dementia is a difficult diagnosis to process. These books focus on sharing information that is easy to understand. They also share advice on how to adapt to changes that will occur in their everyday lives.

Providing catharsis

 Writing about their experience has been proven to be a therapeutic release for both the diagnosed and their loved ones.

Giving comfort

Certain books are written as conversation starters or as shared entertainment for the diagnosed person and their loved ones. These books help to alleviate boredom and combat against depression. They reduce any feelings of loneliness by acting as a bridge of communication.

Where can I find more help?

Dementia UK & Alzheimer’s Research UK both have resources to help living with Dementia diagnosis.

What can I do to help?

You can help dementia research by playing the mobile game Sea Hero Quest. It tests your brain as you play. Four minutes of gameplay is equal to eleven hours of brain research. And so, you can use some of your spare time to #GameForGood.

Fayola Nivet, Story Terrace