May 01, 2015

Book Review - Live and laugh with dementia by Lee-Fay Low

This is a particularly useful and readable book from Australian author Lee-Fay Low who is also a well-known presenter.

The target readers for this book would be carers of people with dementia but also those people who have the early diagnosis. I wish this book had been around when I first had interactions with dementia clients as on first contact I felt quite intimidated not knowing what to say or what activities we could do together that would be enjoyable and useful for both. The main focus of this book is to make explanations and follow these with case studies.
I found the section dealing with how to start a conversation and what sort of topics would one use very useful.  Again the use of case studies makes this very understandable and logical.
In describing activities the author presents an idea of what to do and then how to trial it and then modify it and revisit the idea at another time.
The author brings herself into the book and explains how our personal mood will affect what we do at a particular time with our client- quote –“I sometimes feel frustrated and disappointed  when an activity does not go as planned and I am unable to connect with someone or they do not seem to want my company or say negative things about. I try not to take these occurrences as personal rejections or as a failure on my part.” This will give comfort to many who have felt this way in their caring job.
I commend this book to all staff working with clients who have dementia and in particular those who plan activities at a nursing home or centre. It would also be a very useful book for help staff who would be answering questions on how to deal with behaviours of concern and what activities would bring joy, fun and provide cognitive stimulation.  
Review by Lauretta Kaldor. 
Lauretta  is a diversional therapist who has been writing manuals for leisure staff working in aged care for the last 20 years. 
This book is available for loan from the Alzheimer Australia NSW library, email nsw.library@alzheimers.org.au  to reserve a copy.

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