YPWD Book Review - Married to Alzheimer's
We are very grateful to our Trustee David Fisher for his review of "Married to Alzheimer's" by Steph Booth. As a carer for his wife who was diagnosed with young onset dementia David has commented on how many chords this book struck while he read it. If you would like to borrow this book from the YPWD Library then please contact us.
When her husband, the actor Tony Booth, was diagnosed with young onset Alzheimer’s, Steph had to say goodbye to life as she knew it. The disease seeped into her life, taking Tony away a little bit day by day. “When Tony was diagnosed it made little difference to our lives. He was confused but initially he did not change very much. That was to take two or three years. We had no idea of the road we were on!”
Open and honest, the book is a touching account of a life and love torn apart by dementia. Along the way we learn of the people they were and the dynamics of their relationship. In many ways it mirrors the route that my late wife Sarah’s decline followed and I had several emotional moments in reading it as it reminded me of those bitter times. Nonetheless the book is an eminently good read, well written, politically incorrect in places but always the reader feels that it comes from the heart and truthfully so.
In places I found it quite difficult to read unemotionally, as it brings home the real tragedy that young onset dementia delivers to the families of those diagnosed with it. And the lack of awareness and actual assistance provided at that time by the Government – one of the very reasons that we founded the charity.
This is a book that everybody should read whatever their personal circumstances, as it details how life has to go on in the best way possible both for the person diagnosed and for the carer. It demonstrates how living can become more marginalised and how people can cope with extremes.
Gritty and poignant it defines the challenges of caring for Tony – and losing herself in the midst! It is a revealing account of the visceral impact dementia has on love and life – and a bond that was unshakeable – effortlessly captured with lightness and humour!
At a personal level I found it very easy to relate to – at times amusing, at times sad, but always truthful and honest. A book to read and relate to!