Discover the 11 Best Books About Dementia

If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with dementia, it can feel overwhelming and confusing to understand this condition. However, reading books about dementia can be a great way to get a better understanding of what it is, the different types, and how to manage it. In this article, we’ll explore some of the best books about dementia, both fiction and non-fiction, that can provide comfort, insight, and practical tips for caregivers and those living with the condition.

Discover the 11 Best Books About Dementia

Understanding Dementia

Before delving into the specific books, it’s important to have a clear understanding of what dementia is. In simple terms, dementia is a term used to describe a group of symptoms associated with a decline in memory and thinking skills. It’s important to note that dementia is not a specific disease, but rather a set of symptoms that may be caused by a number of different underlying conditions.

Dementia is a progressive condition that affects the brain, leading to a decline in cognitive function. It can be a challenging condition to manage, both for the person with dementia and their loved ones. As the condition progresses, it can have a significant impact on a person’s ability to carry out daily activities, such as dressing, bathing, and preparing meals.

What is Dementia?

Dementia is characterized by a decline in cognitive function, which affects a person’s ability to carry out daily activities. This can include difficulties with memory, communication, and problem-solving skills. Dementia is most commonly seen in older adults, and its prevalence increases with age.

While dementia is most commonly seen in older adults, it can affect people of all ages. In some cases, dementia can be caused by a genetic mutation that is passed down through families. This is known as familial Alzheimer’s disease, and it accounts for a small percentage of all cases of Alzheimer’s disease.

Types of Dementia

There are several different types of dementia, with Alzheimer’s disease being the most common. Other types include vascular dementia, Lewy body dementia, and frontotemporal dementia. Each type has its own set of symptoms and challenges, so it’s important to get an accurate diagnosis from a healthcare professional.

Vascular dementia is caused by damage to the blood vessels in the brain, while Lewy body dementia is caused by the buildup of abnormal proteins in the brain. Frontotemporal dementia is caused by damage to the frontal and temporal lobes of the brain, which can lead to changes in behavior and personality.

Symptoms and Diagnosis

The symptoms of dementia can vary depending on the type and stage of the condition. Some common symptoms include memory loss, confusion, difficulty communicating, and changes in mood or behavior. A healthcare professional can diagnose dementia based on a combination of tests, including physical and neurological exams, lab tests, and brain imaging.

It’s important to note that while there is no cure for dementia, there are treatments available that can help manage the symptoms and improve quality of life. These treatments may include medications to manage symptoms such as depression or anxiety, as well as lifestyle changes such as regular exercise and a healthy diet.

It’s also important for caregivers of people with dementia to take care of their own mental and physical health. Caregiving can be a challenging and stressful role, and it’s important to seek support and resources to help manage the demands of the role.

Fiction Books About Dementia

Reading fiction books about dementia can provide a unique perspective and insight into the personal experiences of those impacted by the condition. The following books are engaging and thought-provoking reads that can provide comfort and a better understanding of dementia.

The Story of Forgetting

The Story of Forgetting: A Novel

In this beautiful, imaginative novel, author Stefan Merrill Block explores memory, loss, and the power of stories. The book tells the story of 15-year-old Abel Haggard and an old man struggling with Alzheimer’s disease, weaving together threads of fiction and science to create a compelling read.

The book also delves into the history of Alzheimer’s disease, exploring the scientific discoveries that have led to our current understanding of the condition. Through the character of Abel, the book also touches on the importance of family and the power of love in the face of adversity.

You can find this book here.

Still Alice

Still Alice

Written by neuroscientist and author Lisa Genova, Still Alice tells the story of a Harvard professor, Alice Howland, who is diagnosed with early-onset Alzheimer’s disease. The book captures the emotional turmoil of the main character as she adapts to her diagnosis and navigates the challenges of living with the condition.

The book also explores the impact of Alzheimer’s disease on family dynamics, as Alice’s relationships with her husband and children are tested by her diagnosis. Through Alice’s journey, the book highlights the importance of living in the present moment and cherishing the memories we have.

Elizabeth is Missing

Elizabeth Is Missing: A Novel

In this gripping mystery novel, author Emma Healey explores the inner life of an elderly woman struggling with dementia. The book follows protagonist Maud as she tries to unravel the mystery behind a missing friend, all while grappling with the challenges of memory loss and confusion.

The book also touches on the stigma surrounding dementia and the way society often dismisses the experiences of those with the condition. Through Maud’s journey, the book challenges readers to confront their own biases and preconceptions about dementia and aging.

You can find this book here.

We Are Not Ourselves

We Are Not Ourselves: A Novel

Written by Matthew Thomas, this novel follows the journey of Eileen Tumulty, a nurse who cares for her father as he faces the challenges of Alzheimer’s disease. The book explores themes of family, hope, and the emotional impact of caring for a loved one with dementia.

The book also delves into the history of nursing and healthcare in the United States, highlighting the challenges and rewards of a career in healthcare. Through Eileen’s journey, the book emphasizes the importance of empathy and compassion in caregiving, and the power of human connection in the face of difficult circumstances.

You can find this book here.

Non-Fiction Books About Dementia

Non-fiction books about dementia provide a wealth of practical information and advice for caregivers, healthcare professionals, and those diagnosed with the condition. Here are some of the best non-fiction books about dementia.

The 36-Hour Day

The 36-Hour Day: A Family Guide to Caring for People Who Have Alzheimer Disease and Other Dementias (A Johns Hopkins Press Health Book)

Written by Nancy L. Mace and Peter V. Raab, The 36-Hour Day is considered a go-to guide for families and caregivers of those with dementia. The book provides practical advice on how to manage daily routines, navigate the healthcare system, and cope with the emotional impact of the condition.

The book also offers insights into how to communicate with someone with dementia, how to handle difficult behaviors, and how to create a safe and comfortable environment for them. The authors draw on their many years of experience in the field to provide practical and compassionate advice for caregivers.

Creating Moments of Joy

Creating Moments of Joy Along the Alzheimer's Journey: A Guide for Families and Caregivers, Fifth Edition, Revised and Expanded

In this heartwarming book, Jolene Brackey shares creative ideas for bringing joy and happiness into the lives of those with dementia. Drawing on her experiences as an activities director in a care home, Brackey shares practical and inspirational ideas for transforming difficult situations into meaningful moments.

The book is filled with stories of how Brackey and her team were able to create moments of joy for residents with dementia, such as taking them on a virtual trip to the beach or hosting a birthday party for someone who didn’t remember their own birthday. Brackey’s approach is centered around the idea that people with dementia can still experience joy and connection, and that it is up to caregivers to create opportunities for these experiences.

You can find this book here.

Contented Dementia

Contented Dementia: 24-hour Wraparound Care for Lifelong Well-being

Author Oliver James presents a radical approach to managing dementia in this thought-provoking book. The book advocates for a person-centered approach to care, which focuses on emotional needs rather than simply managing symptoms. Drawing on case studies and research, James presents a compelling argument for a new approach to dementia care.

James argues that traditional approaches to dementia care focus too much on managing symptoms and not enough on the emotional needs of the person with dementia. He suggests that by understanding and addressing the emotional needs of the person with dementia, caregivers can create a more positive and fulfilling experience for everyone involved.

You can find this book here.

Dementia Reimagined

Dementia Reimagined: Building a Life of Joy and Dignity from Beginning to End

Written by Tia Powell, Dementia Reimagined explores the cultural, historical, and ethical dimensions of dementia. The book challenges common assumptions about dementia and offers a new vision for how we can better understand and support those living with the condition.

Powell argues that our current approach to dementia is too focused on the medical aspects of the condition, and that we need to broaden our understanding to include the social, cultural, and ethical dimensions. She also explores the ways in which dementia is portrayed in popular culture and how this affects our perceptions of the condition.

Overall, Dementia Reimagined offers a fresh and thought-provoking perspective on dementia that is sure to challenge readers’ assumptions and inspire new ideas for how we can better support those living with the condition.

Books for Caregivers

Caregivers play a crucial role in supporting those with dementia. These books offer practical advice and emotional support for those providing care.

The Dementia Caregiver’s Little Book of Hope

The Dementia Caregiver's Little Book of Hope

In this small but mighty book, author Megan Carnarius provides a collection of uplifting quotes, stories, and advice for caregivers of those living with dementia. The book is a powerful reminder of the importance of hope and positivity in the face of difficult circumstances.

You can find this book here.

Learning to Speak Alzheimer’s

Learning to Speak Alzheimer's: A Groundbreaking Approach for Everyone Dealing with the Disease

Written by Joanne Koenig Coste, this book provides practical advice and tips for communicating effectively with those with dementia. The book offers practical strategies for addressing common challenges, such as memory loss and confusion.

You can find this book here.

The Caregiver’s Survival Guide

Caregiver's Survival Guide: Caring for Yourself While Caring for a Loved One

Author Robert Yonover presents a practical and comprehensive guide for caregivers in this book. The book provides advice on navigating the healthcare system, managing daily routines, and caring for oneself while providing care for another.

You can find this book here.

The Unforgettable Journey

Written by Anne Simpson, this book offers comfort and emotional support for caregivers and families of those with dementia. The book provides a collection of inspiring stories and reflections from caregivers, offering a powerful reminder of the resilience and strength of the human spirit.


Whether you are living with dementia yourself or caring for a loved one, books can be a powerful source of comfort, insight, and practical advice. From fiction to non-fiction, these books about dementia offer a range of perspectives and tools for understanding and managing the condition. We hope this article has provided a helpful starting point for exploring some of the best books about dementia.

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Eddison Monroe
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