What Dementia Teaches Us About Love
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What Dementia Teaches Us About Love

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'Essential reading about love, life and care' Kate Mosse
'Nobody has written on dementia as well as Nicci Gerrard in this new book' Andrew Marr

'Dementia is all around us, in our families and in our genes; perhaps in our own futures. If it's not you or me, it's someone we love.'

After her own father's death from dementia, the writer and campaigner Nicci Gerrard set out to explore the illness that now touches millions of us, yet which we still struggle to speak about. What does dementia mean, for those who live with it, and those who care for them?

This truthful, humane book is an attempt to understand. It is filled with stories, both moving and optimistic: from those living with dementia to those planning the end of life, from the scientists unlocking the mysteries of the brain to the therapists using art and music to enrich the lives of sufferers, from the campaigners battling for greater compassion in care to the families trying to make sense of this 'incomprehensible de-creation of the self'. It explores memory, language, identity, ageing and the notion of what it truly means to care. And it asks, how do we begin to value those who become old, invisible, forgotten? What do we owe them, and each other as humans? What, in the end, really matters?
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Product details

  • Hardback | 272 pages
  • 144 x 222 x 27mm | 392g
  • ALLEN LANE
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 0241347459
  • 9780241347454
  • 97,554

Review Text

Immensely powerful . . . an incisive and compelling read. Gerrard, a crime novelist and former journalist, visits the "fresh hell" of hospitals across the UK, and interviews sufferers and those whose lives have been indelibly shaped by the diagnosis of a loved one . . . As well as being part-memoir and part-reportage, What Dementia Teaches Us About Love is also a great part philosophical inquiry into the nature of self and what it is to be human. The Sunday Times
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Review quote

Nicci Gerrard writes with power, insight, empathy and extraordinary beauty about the world of dementia . . . and demonstrates how we can address the fear, despair and ignorance that has accompanied its spread -- Paul Webster * editor of the Observer * Nicci Gerrard exudes understanding of the breadth, scale and complexity of the dementias and the challenges they pose for society. Yet she communicates simply, personally and practically as if speaking individually to each of us -- Sebastian Crutch * Professor of Neuropsychology, Dementia Research Centre, University College London * Gerrard writes beautifully, encyclopaedically and with humanity -- Nicholas Timmins * senior fellow at the Institute for Government and the King's Fund, honorary fellow of Royal College of Physicians, author of Five Giants * Evocative and powerful, shining a light on a world which is often hidden and misunderstood * Jane Cummings, Chief Nursing Officer for England * This is a tender, lyrical, profound, urgent book . . . Gerrard has penned a treatise on what it is to be human -- Yasmin Alibhai-Brown * columnist and author * Gerrard ranges widely and wisely, raising questions about what it is to be human and facing truths too deep for tears * Blake Morrison, poet and author of And When Did You Last See Your Father? * Nobody has written on dementia as well as Nicci Gerrard in this new book. Kind, knowing and infinitely useful -- Andrew Marr An extraordinarily luminous book, at once terribly sad and frightening but also somehow hopeful and energising. -- Nick Duerden * Independent * Essential reading about love, life and care -- Kate Mosse * author of Labyrinth * Immensely powerful . . . an incisive and compelling read. Gerrard, a crime novelist and former journalist, visits the "fresh hell" of hospitals across the UK, and interviews sufferers and those whose lives have been indelibly shaped by the diagnosis of a loved one . . . As well as being part-memoir and part-reportage, What Dementia Teaches Us About Love is also a great part philosophical inquiry into the nature of self and what it is to be human. * The Sunday Times *
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About Nicci Gerrard

Nicci Gerrard is a writer and campaigner, a celebrated novelist and recipient of the 2016 Orwell Prize for Journalism 'Exposing Britain's Social Evils'. This work grew out of her father's death from dementia in 2014 and her belief that the disease, its impact on individuals, families and wider society, needed light thrown upon it in order to improve the experience and support of those affected.

Nicci Gerrard is also co-founder of John's Campaign, named after her father, which has campaigned to give carers of those with dementia the same rights as parents of children to accompany them in hospital. Recognised by NHS policy makers, by charities, by nurses and doctors and carers, almost every hospital across the UK has now signed up.
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Rating details

129 ratings
4 out of 5 stars
5 31% (40)
4 45% (58)
3 19% (24)
2 5% (6)
1 1% (1)
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