Four Books on Dementia
Consider adding these memorable titles to your summer reading list.
I SMILE FOR GRANDPA
By Jaclyn Guenette and illustrated by Kathryn Harrison
This picture book explains dementia in a sensitive and child-friendly way. After Grandpa is diagnosed with dementia, Little Buddy learns that soccer games, camping and the other fun activities he loves doing with Grandpa won’t be the same as before. He has questions, but his parents explain that Little Buddy will continue to have a special connection with Grandpa. This book is written for children ages three to seven, and offers them comfort and reassurance as they learn how a dementia diagnosis might affect their beloved family member. A portion of the profits is donated to the Alzheimer Society of Canada.
REMEMBER: THE SCIENCE OF MEMORY AND THE ART OF FORGETTING
By Lisa Genova
Released in March, Remember is the first work of non-fiction from the author of the popular novel Still Alice. This time, Genova draws on her training as a neuroscientist to examine the science of memories, forgetting, and what can be done to protect our memories. Remember explores why some memories are forgotten within hours while others last a lifetime, how memory is affected by sleep and stress, and how dementia is a different kind of forgetting. Genova examines this topic in an easy-to-understand way, weaving relatable, personal stories in with the science.
THE LAST OCEAN: WHAT DEMENTIA TEACHES US ABOUT LOVE
By Nicci Gerrard
After Nicci Gerrard’s father, John, was diagnosed with dementia, he continued to live his life to the fullest. It was only after a challenging hospital experience that things became more difficult for John and his family. John passed away in 2014, and five years later, Gerrard published this lyrical, deeply personal book examining living with dementia, compassionate medicine, and end-of-life care. The Last Ocean is part memoir, part journalistic deep-dive, and part philosophical reflection on selfhood, identity and familial love.
THE SMALLEST OBJECTIVE
By Sharon Kirsch
In this deeply personal memoir, Sharon Kirsch chronicles the challenges of witnessing her mother receive a dementia diagnosis. While she prepares to sell the family home in Montreal after her mother moves into assisted living, Kirsch discovers treasures that tell stories of her parents’ past. She learns of family members she’d never met and of her parents’ connection to the city itself. As well as candidly sharing her anxieties about being away from her mother at this time in her life, Kirsch discovers that recovering memories on someone’s behalf can invigorate a sense of purpose.
What are you reading?
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