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Reviewed by Chris Vaughan
A close member of my family has dementia, a recent occurrence which has left us feeling bewildered and helpless. My relative’s loss of his short-term memory has led to emotional outbursts, inexplicable behavior and an inability to enter into any kind of meaningful conversation, which has presented us with a seemingly insoluble conundrum. So I approached A Loving Approach to Dementia Care not looking for answers, as dementia is a progressive and irreversible condition, but looking for ways of interacting with him in a manner that is beneficial for both of us and, as the book’s title promises, ways of connecting with him in the world where he now resides. With this in mind, I found this short book immensely helpful.
The author proceeds by way of a series of vignettes, each designed to highlight one or more behaviors which can be manifested by a patient as dementia takes many forms: Wayman reckons there are over seventy different types of the disease. There are several different causes and symptoms accompanying short-term memory loss can include confusion, disorientation, repetitive behaviors, difficulty tracking or processing information, anxiety, fear and paranoia.