October 21, 2015

are you in a book club?

*we have multiple copies of these books available for members who are in a book club and would like to share the experiences of these authors on what it is like living with a loved one who has dementia.
 *if you would like to reserve  one of the titles please email the ALZ NSW Library on nsw.library@alzheimers.org.au with the number of copies you would need or ring the library 02 9888 4218. 

Still Alice
Alice Howland is proud of the life she worked so hard to build. A Harvard professor, she has a successful husband and three grown children. When she begins to grow forgetful, she dismisses it for as long as she can, but when she gets lost in her own neighbourhood she knows that something has gone terribly wrong. She finds herself in the rapidly downward spiral of Alzheimer's Disease. She is fifty years old. Suddenly she has no classes to teach, no new research to conduct, no invited lectures to give. Ever again. Unable to work, read and, increasingly, take care of herself, Alice struggles to find meaning and purpose in her everyday life as her concept of self gradually slips away. But Alice is a remarkable woman, and her family, yoked by history and DNA and love, discover more about her and about each other, in their quest to keep the Alice they know for as long as possible. Losing her yesterdays, her short-term memory hanging on by a couple of frayed threads, she is living in the moment, living for each day. But she is still Alice.

Green vanilla teaGreen Vanilla Tea is the winner of the Finch Memoir Prize 2013. This book will appeal to everybody, such is the quality of this book.

When Marie Williams' husband Dominic started buying banana Paddle Pops by the boxful it was out of character for a man who was fit and health conscious. Dominic, Marie and their two sons had migrated to Australia to have a life where they shared more family time -- when gradually Dominic's behaviour became more and more unpredictable. It took nearly four years before there was a diagnosis of early onset dementia coupled with motor neurone disease. Marie began to write, as she says, as a refuge from the chaos and as a way to make sense of her changing world.

In the midst of the delights of family life, tragedy can strike. Marie Williams watches helplessly as an un-diagnosable condition debilitates her 40-year-old husband, Dominic, in both body and mind. As the condition develops, the normally devoted family man and loving partner seems to disappear beneath an expressionless face and a relentless desire to walk and walk and walk at all hours of the day and night.

In a compelling story that spans both joy and sadness, Marie Williams writes about the bonds in her family, her sons' love for their father, the spirit that sustains them all during the most testing of experiences and about the struggle they faced in dealing with the inexplicable.

Green Vanilla Tea is a story of compassion and courage in the face of a deadly and little understood illness. Above all, it is a love story.

To love what is : a marriage transformed
One day it happens: the dreaded event that will change your life forever. For Alix Kates Shulman, it happened in a remote seaside cabin on a coastal Maine island--where the very isolation that makes for a perfect artist's retreat can also put life at risk. Shulman woke to find that her beloved husband had fallen the nine feet from their sleeping loft and was lying on the floor below, deathly still. Though Scott would survive, he suffered an injury that left him seriously brain impaired. He was the same--but not the same. In this elegant memoir, Shulman describes the ongoing anxieties and risks--and surprising rewards--she experiences as she reorganizes her world to care for her husband and discovers that what might have seemed a life sentence to some has evolved into something unexpectedly rich.

One day at a time : sharing life with dementiaCare partners are the essential ingredient in the life of a person diagnosed with dementia. They enter this role unexpectedly, untrained and totally unprepared for their own mixture of emotions. In this her first book, Dorothy shares her insights into learning how to cope, live and laugh as a carer of a person with dementia in order to help family, friends and the community to realise the emotional trauma of the early years as a carer.

I wish I were a leper : the diary one couple's struggle with fear, faith and Alzheimer's
is a book by Vince O’Rourke based on diary and journal entries which accurately record the journey he and his wife Margaret O’Rourke took with Alzheimer’s disease. Because of its early onset, the disease rapidly adversely affected Margaret’s quality of life.
When asked why she would ever wish to be a leper, Margaret's faith filled response was, "If I were a leper He could heal me". This is a story that grabs the reader's attention from the outset. It is a record of unconditional love, pain and suffering, hope and despair, anger and elation, as well as of a personal conflict of faith, and belief in a God of love and compassion. It speaks clearly to all who care for those suffering long term terminal diseases, especially those allied to dementia.

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