Books on dementia and care

Material on dementia and related care created by reputed entities is available free on the Internet, including downloadable manuals. However, as many persons prefer books, this page lists books specially selected for Indian family caregivers, provides brief descriptions of each, along with whether the book is available as paperback, hardcover, and/ or as Kindle ebook, as well as some links to obtain the book. The page is regularly revised to include good recent and affordable books and remove more expensive, unavailable books. Some things to keep in mind:

  • No book, howsoever good, can be exhaustive in terms of topics or coverage.
  • Names of organizations, resources or product brands, or product-specific tips may be outdated.
  • Descriptions of available support and support-specific suggestions may be not be relevant if the book was written for a different culture/ country.
  • While some books are aimed at Alzheimer’s Disease, caregiving tips in such books are helpful even for other dementias.

Please use the book descriptions below as well as the Amazon description and reader comments to evaluate a book. Use the books as a starting point, supplement with other books, reliable websites and other reliable information, and be alert that the current situation and support may be different from what the book assumes/ recommends. If considering a Kindle ebook, read the Kindle sample to see if the style and content coverage suit your need. Some books below are available free on Kindle Unlimited.

Note that many books listed in various sections below are not created specially for India, and assume a different cultural context and level of support systems.

Books on dementia and care (English)

There are several books that explain dementia and related care. The selected International books included below are exceptionally usable by caregivers because of the range of topics, the friendly and easy-to-understand language, and a structure friendly for caregivers to appreciate the situation and take action. While readers may need to adapt some advice because it is not applicable in India, the books are useful enough to make the overall reading experience well worth it.The list below also includes a number of Indian publications.

Main International books recommended.

36 hr book cover and link
The 36–Hour Day – A Family Guide to Caring for People Who Have Alzheimer Disease, Other Dementias, and Memory Loss (Nancy L Mace, Peter V Rabins): In my opinion, this is a must-read book, and covers an impressive range of topics. It is a classic, almost like a definitional book, so much so that doctors involved with caregivers often tell them, ‘we know you have a 36 hour day.’ The link is given for the latest edition, but older editions are just as useful, and may be easier to borrow or cheaper to buy. For the paperback version, see Amazon.comOpens in new window (6th ed), or, if you are in India, see Amazon.inOpens in new window (6th ed) or any other vendor.

This book is also available as a Kindle eBook. Read the book or sample right away on your laptop, tablet, or Kindle by checking it (6th ed) at Amazon.comOpens in new window or Amazon.inOpens in new window.


coping behaviour book cover and link
Coping with Behavior Change in Dementia: A Family Caregiver’s Guide (Beth Spencer, Laurie White):This book discusses why behavior changes happen in dementia and discusses some general approaches. It also looks at each possible behavior change, explains possible causes for that change, and gives several practical tips for both preventing and handling the behavior.This book is an excellent day-to-day reference to have. It is a go-to book for behavior challenges, and organized in a very friendly way. Highly recommended. For the paperback version, see Amazon.comOpens in new window or Amazon.inOpens in new window or any other vendor.

This book is also available as a Kindle eBook. It is free on Kindle Unlimited. Read the book or sample right away on your laptop, tablet, or Kindle by checking Amazon.comOpens in new window or Amazon.in Opens in new window.


rick phelps book cover and link
Breaking Dementia: Finding Acceptance and Hope for This Journey (Rick Phelps, Leeanne Chames): This book is very different from most dementia care books because it is written by someone diagnosed with Early Onset AD (Rick Phelps) and a caregiver who has cared for two persons with dementia (Leeanne Chames). Both authors are also administrators of one of the largest and more effective online support forum for dementia (the Facebook group, Memory People). The book provides valuable insight from both, and can be very helpful for readers to understand the impact of dementia and enable acceptance of the situation along with empowering advice for realistic coping. Very different from the typical books written by professionals, this perspective can be eye-opening and life-changing. Highly recommended. For the paperback version, see Amazon.comOpens in new window. The paperback is not yet available at Amazon.in (you can order from Amazon.com or try some other vendor)

This book is available as a Kindle eBook. Read the book or sample right away on your laptop, tablet, or Kindle by checking it at Amazon.comOpens in new window or Amazon.inOpens in new window.


Indian publications on dementia and care.

cover of Handbook of dementia
Handbook of Dementia (eds: Nilamadhab Kar, David Jolley, Baikunthanath Misra): This is a 438 page medical textbook (second edition: 2010) with chapters written by various experts. It is a good reference text for a range of dementia topics like dementia-causing diseases, behavior changes, person-centric care, etc., and includes many chapters directly useful for caregivers, with topics like handling behaviors, occupational therapy, legal issues, caregiver well-being, etc. Available at Amazon.in Opens in new window or any other vendor.


cover of Handbook of dementia
Understanding Dementia: Disease, Treatment & Care (ed. Prof Shyamal Kumar Das): This relatively slim 2009 book has chapters by different authors and provides a useful overview of various types of dementia, the diagnosis process, changed behavior, etc. It explains the symptoms well and includes many relevant illustrations. Coverage on how to care is low, however. Available through the ARDSI Kolkata chapter.See their page Opens in new window.


cover of Remember Me
Remember Me: You Me and Dementia (Sailesh Mishra, Silver Innings): This Oct 2017, 250-page book is a compilation of dementia and care information and experiences from multiple sources. All the technical and scientific content included (explaining dementia and care) is courtesy ARDSI Kolkata Chapter. The book also has short personal stories and poems around dementia from India and outside to give insight about the impact of dementia, and some articles by experts. While the information for caregivers to understand dementia and care is useful and reliable, the organization of the book is not explained or intuitive and readers may find it difficult to get a comprehensive overview of what care involves, or to locate a specific topic. A new caregiver may not be able to do it. The book has formatting and editing issues. It could have been better and more usable with clearer structuring and better editing. Paperback is available at Amazon.in Opens in new window (or contact silverinnings@gmail.com). The book is also available as a Kindle eBook. See Amazon.in Kindle ebookOpens in new window or Amazon.com Kindle ebook Opens in new window. A new paperback edition was released in Oct 2021 with some restructuring, but the Kindle version is still the old 2017 version.


cover of  Home stretch caregiving book The Home Stretch: A Family Caregiver’s Handbook (Sanjay Dattatri): This is a very useful book for caregivers, published in Oct 2021, written for the Indian context and with a practical style addressing multiple care issues, explaining them and giving usable suggestions that can be applied in India. The book discusses all type of care and also has some sections for dementia. The writing is smooth and direct. Topics include fundamentals of family caregiving, bedridden care, managing hired help, medication, hospitalization, palliative care, self care etc. Some caution: some specific advice in the book may become dated as the publication gets older. Use the book as a starting point, and supplement with concepts and advice from other sources that more exclusively address individual topics. Unfortunately, while the book does suggest searching the Internet for additional detail or specific help for some topics/ resources, it does not include suggested further reading or reliable, authoritative websites. The book is available as paperback at Amazon.in Opens in new window and as a Amazon.in Kindle ebookOpens in new window and very reasonably priced.


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cover of  Handling Alzheimer’s with Courage Care, Learn, Share: A guide for Alzheimer’s Caregivers (Dr Soumya Hegde and Wing Commander (Retd.) D P Sabharwal): This is a simply written small book that gives a useful introduction to salient aspects of dementia and also explains multiple care aspects and how to tackle challenges. It includes discussions on both care of the person with dementia as well as caregiver self-care.  Approximately 110 pages long, the writing is straightforward and easy to understand.  Contact aerosaby@gmail.com or a 90350 00140 to get a copy.


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Books on dementia and care in Indian Languages (Bengali, Gujarati, Kannada, and Marathi books)

cover of Dementia Paricharyya
Dementia Paricharyya ডিমেনশিয়ায় পরিচর্যা (Ed. Nilanjana Maulik): This slender, modestly-priced Bengali book explains day-to-day dementia care to caregivers. Topics covered include description of dementia, Alzheimer’s Disease, comparison of dementia with aging, how to interact with someone who has dementia, explanations and tips for several topics like communication, bathing and cleaning, various daily activities, healthy living, and also problems like depression, hallucinations and delusions. Coverage is good, but the book does not have any illustrations. Available through the ARDSI Kolkata chapter. See their pageOpens in new window.

cover of Dementia Paricharyya
Dementia Paricharyya (Part 2) ডিমেনশিয়ায় পরিচর্যা (দ্বিতীয় ভাগ)( (Ed. Nilanjana Maulik): This is part 2 of the caregiver manual from ARDSI Kolkata. It expands on topics like communication, general/personal care, behaviour, pain management, falls, wandering, home safety, emergency preparedness, outings, medication management, abuse & neglect, hospital stay, and end of life care. Available through the ARDSI Kolkata chapter.See their pageOpens in new window


cover of Tannar Dimma
Tannar Dimma তান্নার দিম্মা (Indrani Barua): This is a children’s story,giving a grandchild’s perspective of a grandmother with dementia. The child first notices the differences in the person, and later, after understanding how dementia is affecting the grandparent, begins doing a number of small things to make life easier for the grandparent while also finding ways to retain the quality of life – whether by walks (with name tags for safety) or gardening or working in the kitchen(in safe ways). Sensitively written, very suitable for explaining dementia to children. Available on Amazon.in as paperback and Kindle ebook. Free on Kindle Unlimited.


cover of Chitadu Chorayu - Dementia Ni Duniya
Chitadu Chorayu – Dementia Ni Duniya ચિત્તડું ચોરાયું ( ડિમેન્શીયાની દુનિયા) (Daksha Bhat): This small book, with a modestly priced paperback, briefly covers dementia and its symptoms and types, diagnosis, medication overview, impact of dementia, caregiving, caregiver stress, daily routine, challenges, etc., and has some explanatory figures.Available from Varishta at this pageOpens in new window.


cover of Kannada book on dementia care
ಅಲ್ಝೆಹಾಗೂ ಕಾಯಿಲೆ ಹಾಗೂ ಶುಶ್ರೂಷಾ ಸಿಭಂಧಿಗಳು ಅನುಸನಿಸಬೇಕಾದ್ ನಿಯಮಗಳು (B T Salian and Dr. Anasuya Salian): This slim 32-page Kannada booklet covers basic facts about Alzheimer’s and short, simple explanations and suggestions for aspects useful to caregivers, such as delusions, sleep problems, urinary incontinence, handling bathing, food, home adjustments, visiting doctors, etc. Published by Spoorthi Trust, “Priya Clinic” KodialGuthu East, 2nd Cross, Next to Empire Mall. Mangalore 575003. To know more/ find how to get it, please contact Phone 0824-2495128; email : jardinedsouza@gmail. com


cover of Dementia Marathi book
Dementia डिमेन्शिया: डिमेन्शिया रुग्णनांच्या कुटुंबियांसाठी माहिती पुस्तिका (Dr. Dhananjay Chavan): This 155-page modestly priced paperback in Marathi covers dementia and related care topics in reasonable detail in a way very useful to caregivers to understand the situation as well as cope with it. The book includes several examples/ case studies to supplement the explanations. Topics cover ageing, dementia (and how it differs from ageing), types of dementia, stages of dementia, various care topics like communication, helping with ADLs, exercise, activities, coping with various types of difficult behaviours, maintaining dignity while helping, quality of life, caregiver stress, self-care, etc., and also medical problems such as delirium and UTIs, and concerns like elder abuse. Also, many other topics that can help. Highly recommended. Available at Amazon.inOpens in new window