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What I Wish People Knew About Dementia


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Dispelling the myths and stereotypes of living with dementia, Sunday Times bestselling author of Somebody I Used to Know Wendy Mitchell offers a warm, wise and thoroughly practical guide to life after a life-changing diagnosis – from someone who knows.

About the Author

Wendy Mitchell spent twenty years as a non-clinical team leader in the NHS before being diagnosed with young-onset dementia in July 2014 at the age of fifty-eight. Shocked by the lack of awareness about the disease, both in the community and in hospitals, she vowed to spend her time raising awareness about dementia and encouraging others to see that there is life after a diagnosis. She is now an ambassador for the Alzheimer's Society and in 2019 she was awarded an honorary Doctor of Health by the University of Bradford for her contribution to research. She has two daughters and lives in Yorkshire.


An engaging and hopeful read. Mitchell’s signature warmth and optimism shine through on almost every page
*Irish Times*

This is a book whose purpose is to convert despair into hope . . . A kind of how-to manual for people with the condition and those who support them. It proceeds by a practical and calming formula: take a difficulty and find a way to overcome it. Running under all the commonsense pieces of advice is a deeper and more existential message, one for all of us, young and old, in health or frailty: be kind, be attentive, be resilient, bend with change rather than be broken by it, connect, forgive, accept, embrace. Live.
*Nicci Gerard, Observer*

Essential reading for those living with dementia, those who support them, professionals working in the field and any ‘curious individual’ . . . Her message for those given a dementia diagnosis is to never give up on themselves
*Sunday Times Magazine*

A compelling blend of how-to manual and manifesto for a more sympathetic and informed approach to the disease. Even those whose own lives have yet to be touched by Alzheimer’s and other forms of the condition . . . will surely respond to this uplifting depiction of the survival of the human spirit in the most testing of circumstances
*Financial Times*

A must-read . . . It offers readers a practical and really honest guide to life after a diagnosis of dementia . . . For anyone who's beginning this journey, I couldn't recommend it higher’
*Michael Ball, BBC Radio 2*

Revelatory . . . There are many books about dementia that focus on its biology, its clinical subtypes, its social dimension, its effect on carers and loved ones. But there are few memoirs written by the people with dementia themselves. Mitchell’s joins a burgeoning literature of medical memoirs that, like the finest travel writing or reportage, transport the reader to another world that they may or may not visit one day
*The Times*

Currently 50 million people worldwide live with dementia; it is estimated this will increase to 152 million by 2050. So we’d better all buy this godsend of a book . . . Wendy Mitchell is a life-saver’
*The Oldie*

An inspirational follow-up which shows that not all is lost when people lose their memories
*Mail on Sunday*

Full of wisdom, honesty and warmth . . . It taught me so much about what it's like to live with dementia and what it means to be part of a community . . . An absolutely essential read
*Jan Carson*

Using her impressive range of contacts, [Mitchell] augments her own experience with stories of other patients to paint a comprehensive picture of this unforgiving illness

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