Books by Indians sharing dementia care experiences

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Recently, some caregivers from India have written books to share their family experiences of living with and caring for someone with dementia:

A husband shares experiences of his wife’s Alzheimer’s, and lessons learned during the care

cover of  Handling Alzheimer’s with Courage cover of  Handling Alzheimer’s with Courage Hindi version
Handling Alzheimer’s with Courage and अल्झाइमर: साहस से सामना कीजिये (Wing Commander (Retd.) D P Sabharwal):This is a first-person account by Wing Commander (Retd) D P Sabharwal who looked after his wife Kanu, who had Alzheimer’s Disease. Approximately 110 pages long, the book is divided into three parts. Part A, The Long Journey, describes the span of Kanu’s Alzheimer’s, from very initial hints and signs to the end. Part B, The Way Out, shares the lessons and introspection of the author as his understanding improves and he refines his approach for supporting Kanu. And Part C, Not Over As Yet, shares his concluding observations and suggestions. The book openly describes the experiences, doubts, mistakes, tough decisions, successes, failures, etc., along with musings and some relevant concepts of Alzheimer’s/ dementia. The writing is simple, clean, and honest, making a book an easy and gripping read.
The Hindi translation, अल्झाइमर: साहस से सामना कीजिये is also available.
Contact for details/ to order.

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An 84-year-old caregiver shares experiences of his 74-year-old wife with dementia

cover of Alzheimer’s: The Mission Continues
In the line of Alzheimer’s: The Mission Continues (Brig (Retd.) S P Bhattacharjya):This first-person account by Brig Bhattacharjya, 84 years old, who looked after his wife Sukla, then 72 years old. The book covers many incidents from the pre-diagnosis stage, narrating around fifteen years of Sukla’s decline, sharing incidents, mistakes, missed symptoms, things that worked and that did not. The anecdotes are shared with honesty, placed in context, and accompanied by Brig Bhattacharjya’s own analysis. Available through the ARDSI Kolkata chapter. See their page Opens in new window

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A social scientist on his wife’s decline due to Alzheimer’s and the related care

cover of Krishna: Living with Alzheimer’s
Krishna: Living with Alzheimer’s (Ranabir Samaddar): This is a first-person account by a social scientist who cared for his wife (who had Alzheimer’s Disease). The book has several chapters detailing his experiences. The late-stage care chapters, especially, are extremely valuable in our Indian context where late-stage dementia is handled at home and often requires multiple interactions with health care professionals and hospitals. The book is sometimes heavy on medical details, and also has a lot of social analysis, with discussions on ‘quality of life’. The book also contains several chapters about the earlier years of dementia, both the personal side and the social side. Caregivers looking after persons in earlier stages can skip the late-stage dementia part in their first read, and return to these parts later. Available at Amazon.inOpens in new window or Flipkart Opens in new window or any other vendor.

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A daughter shares experiences and loving memories as her father declines due to dementia

cover of A World Within
A World Within: a remarkable story of coping with a parent’s dementia (Minakshi Chaudhry): This book is by a caregiver daughter who describes her father’s decline. It has many honestly-narrated, touching anecdotes that show various sides of the father–in some he remembers and talks about the past, in some he shows mild confusion, in some where he deteriorates further. The writing style is personal, and includes personal musings, regrets, and insight.Available at Opens in new window or any other vendor.

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A daughter shares her mother’s life journey from childhood through dementia and to the end

cover of Vismrit
Vismrit – A Journey Through Alzheimer’s (Bina Berry): This book is a memoir where a daughter shares her mother’s journey through dementia, while interweaving it with stories from her mother’s life, tales about the siblings and their interactions with the mother and other such personal touches. It also has some information on dementia. The narrative includes what the daughter gathered about her mother’s childhood and early marriage from friends and family, and culminates with the deaths of her mother, and her father who died within a few days of the mother’s death. Available as an ebook at Opens in new window .

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(For more books–from India and outside–see the page Books on dementia and care. For more detailed reviews of the above books, and also information on other dementia-related books from India, including ethnographic studies, see Information and stories on dementia and care: Books from India Opens in new window.)

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