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Dispelling the myths and stereotypes of living with dementia

What I Wish People Knew About Dementia
What I Wish People Knew About Dementia
What can a diseased brain tell us about being human, living our own lives better, and helping those with dementia get the best out of theirs? Wendy Mitchell tells us.اضافة اعلان

 After being diagnosed with young-onset dementia at the age of 58, her brain was overwhelmed with images of the last stages of the disease — those familiar tropes, shortcuts, and clichés — that are fed to the masses by the media, and even some health professionals.

But her diagnosis far from represented the end of her life. Instead, it was the start of a very different one.

Wise, practical, and life-affirming, “What I Wish People Knew About Dementia” combines anecdotes, research, and Mitchell’s own brilliant wit and wisdom to tell readers exactly what she wishes they knew about dementia.


“An engaging and hopeful read. Mitchell’s signature warmth and optimism shine through on almost every page.” — The Irish Times

“This is a book whose purpose is to convert despair into hope … A kind of how-to manual for people with the condition and those who support them. It proceeds with a practical and calming formula: take a difficulty and find a way to overcome it. Running under all the commonsense pieces of advice is a deeper and more existential message, one for all of us, young and old, in health or frailty: be kind, be attentive, be resilient, bend with change rather than be broken by it, connect, forgive, accept, embrace, (and) live.” — Nicci Gerard, The Observer

“Essential reading for those living with dementia, those who support them, professionals working in the field and any ‘curious individual’ … Her message for those given a dementia diagnosis is to never give up on themselves.”  — Sunday Times Magazine

“A compelling blend of (a) how-to manual and manifesto for a more sympathetic and informed approach to the disease. Even those whose own lives have yet to be touched by Alzheimer’s and other forms of the condition … will surely respond to this uplifting depiction of the survival of the human spirit in the most testing of circumstances.” — The Financial Times

“A must-read. … It offers readers a practical and really honest guide to life after a diagnosis of dementia … For anyone who’s beginning this journey, I couldn’t recommend it higher.” — Michael Ball, BBC Radio 2

“Revelatory. … There are many books about dementia that focus on its biology, its clinical subtypes, its social dimension, its effect on careers and loved ones. But there are few memoirs written by the people with dementia themselves. Mitchell’s joins a burgeoning literature of medical memoirs that, like the finest travel writing or reportage, transport the reader to another world that they may or may not visit one day.” The Times

“Currently, 50 million people worldwide live with dementia; it is estimated this will increase to 152 million by 2050. So we’d better all buy this godsend of a book. ... Wendy Mitchell is a life-saver.” — Frances Wilson, The Oldie

About the author

Mitchell spent 20 years as a non-clinical team leader in the NHS before being diagnosed with young-onset dementia in July 2014 at the age of 58. Shocked by the lack of awareness about the disease, both in the community and in hospitals, she vowed to spend her time raising awareness about dementia and encouraging others to see that there is life after a diagnosis.

She is now an ambassador for the Alzheimer’s Society and in 2019 she was awarded an honorary Doctor of Health by the University of Bradford for her contribution to research.

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