Four Books For Your Summer Reading List

 
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Tangles: A Story About Alzheimer’s, My Mother and Me

by Sarah Leavitt

Caring for a loved one with dementia can be difficult. Canadian cartoonist Sarah Leavitt works out her feelings about her mother’s declining memory and eventual death in this intensely personal graphic memoir. Leavitt’s black-and-white sketches document life with her mother, capturing playful, joyous highs as well as heartbreaking lows. The result: a tender and funny document to which many caregivers will relate. 


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The Power of Kindness: Why Empathy Is Essential In Everyday Life 

by Dr. Brian Goldman

Many readers will know Dr. Brian Goldman from CBC Radio’s White Coat, Black Art, on which he talks about his experiences as an MD. In this book, Goldman examines the concept of kindness as it relates to health care and regular life. Goldman tells tales of empathetic people that he’s met through his travels, including a kind nursing-home therapist in Pennsylvania who brings relief to patients in the late stages of dementia.  ] 

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What the Hell Happened to My Brain?: Living Beyond Dementia

by Kate Swaffer

A dementia diagnosis can be difficult to accept at any age, but young-onset dementia offers unique challenges. Kate Swaffer was only 49—with teenage sons—when she was diagnosed. Swaffer details her journey with dementia in this powerful memoir. She discovers the empowerment of advocating for herself and others with dementia, and talks first-hand about life with a cognitive condition.


What’s Happening to Grandpa? 

by Maria Shriver, illustrated by Sandra Speidel

Seeing symptoms of dementia in loved ones can be particularly confusing for young children. Maria Shriver provides a starting point for talking to kids about dementia in this heartfelt picture book about a young girl and her grandfather, who is dealing with Alzheimer’s. Shriver’s protagonist learns that while Grandpa’s memory may be fading, their relationship and his love for her will endure.