The One-Stop Guide to Alzheimer’s and Dementia

Author June Andrews, FRCN, is a professor and director of the Dementia Services Development Centre at the University of Stirling in Scotland. Learn more about her book, “The One-Stop Guide to Dementia,” and her work supporting families, organisations and governments to improve services for people with Alzheimer’s disease and dementia, and their families.The One-Stop Guide to Alzheimer's and DementiaThe One-Stop Guide to Alzheimer's and DementiaThe One-Stop Guide to Alzheimer's and Dementia

A Guide to Dementia

A year ago I sent my husband and daughter on a trip to the other side of the world for six weeks so that I could be home alone to write a book about dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.

I had experienced dementia with my grandmother and have years of experience as the director of a dementia centre, but even so, it took me a long time to work through the information (and some misinformation) that is in publications and on the web.

When someone is diagnosed with dementia, it seems as if there is too much information, or too little. At a time of great stress, people find it hard to make sense of what they are told, even though the research is clear. There are some things that will make life better and delay the development of symptoms. The problem is that no one tells you how to go about achieving all of this at what is a terrible time in your life.

Fortunately, the Dementia Services Development Centre that I direct, is focused on research about what is practical and makes a difference for people with dementia. We pride ourselves on being useful and you may find resources on our website that can make a difference to your life.

My book, “Dementia – the One Stop Guide” also focuses on the areas of dementia that research shows are most difficult. It covers topics which include:

  • What you can do to avoid the dangers of a hospital admission.
  • What the best response to aggression, agitation and anxiety is.
  • What you can do about nocturnal wandering and other disturbing behaviour.

My mother, Doris McCallum, a retired secretary, read the proofs of the guide with a sharp pencil in her hand. She made me change every complicated sentence and remove any difficult phrases. She knew that people don’t have time for that… they just need to know what is practical and achievable and they want to know it fast. She passed away after a very short illness, before the final proofs came back from the printer. I dedicate this work to her.

About the Author:

Professor June Andrews, FRCN, is the director of the Dementia Services Development Centre at the University of Stirling in Scotland. She works all over the world supporting individuals, families, organisations and governments to improve services for people with dementia and their families.

Have you read “The One-Stop Guide to Dementia,” and used some of it’s strategies while caring for a loved one? Share your story with us about your dementia experience in the comments below.

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Please leave your thoughts and comments

  • Jane

    The time change has caused stress for me and my husband! He is very unsettled, agitated and extremely compulsive. Can not stand for me to sit in my lounge chair! I finally figured he was fighting his own clock for food. He wanted everything to happen faster so I would fix dinner for him. I had a very full day and cleaned the house. He just could not stand for me take the time before walking the dog and fixing dinner. Others might be experiencing this.

  • Margaret Troy

    My husband was diagnosed approx. 3 years ago with Early Cognitive Impairment and since with a Vascular Dementia type of the disease. He is presently on Epixa 10 mg twice daily and seems to have responded quite well on this. He also suffers from Emphysema and has had a stent inserted for cardiac ischaemia when his confusion and disorientation problem began. In fact he was okay until he awoke one morning with shortness of breath. Subsequently he was admitted to hospital and a stent inserted, after this procedure his lung collapsed and they then treated that problem, all on the same day. The Dr. called me afterwards to say that he was confused and disorientated. About 6 weeks later a standard memory test was performed; he scored quite badly on this (30 set questions) and was then put on the medication. An MRI test was also carried out and the diagnosis was “wear and tear in the memory area of his brain”. Since then we have been managing as best we can. My biggest problem was preventing him from driving, but thankfully after another stint in hospital to remove nodules from his lung I managed to persuade him that he could no longer drive due to being on a “tablet”. Since then he has become very quiet and has real difficulty getting words out. He was a big talker in the past and was quite intelligent with general knowledge and crosswords. He sleeps well and eats well but is not the same person – his personality has changed completely and it is very sad to see.
    I find it very lonely at times, as I can no longer discuss anything with him on a day to day basis. He still plays his cards three times a week and I play with him on one night. I have told everyone that knows him and allowances are made for him if he makes a mistake playing. Surprisingly he is still able to play the cards (45) quite well and will often point out a mistake that I might make !