Review: What I Wish People Knew About Dementia

Dementia from someone who knows

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Second-time author Wendy Mitchell.

Second-time author Wendy Mitchell.


Wendy Mitchell's young-onset dementia diagnosis didn't represent the end of her life - it was the start of a very different one.


When Wendy Mitchell was diagnosed with young-onset dementia at 58, she was overwhelmed.

But the diagnosis in July 2014 didn't represent the end of her life. Instead, it was the start of a very different one.

"Like many people, I knew nothing about dementia at the point of my diagnosis," she writes in the introduction to hew new book, What I Wish People Knew About Dementia - From Someone Who Knows.

So what has she learned?

"That yes, dementia is a bummer of a diagnosis but, like everything in life, it has a beginning, a middle and an end."

Wendy published her autobiography, Somebody I Used to Know, in 2018. She hopes this new book will give people somewhere to start, whether they are living with dementia, support someone with the disease, are a professional working in the field... or someone just curious to find out more.

Wendy combines anecdote, the latest research and her own wit and wisdom gleaned from her everyday life to tell readers exactly what she wishes they knew about the disease.

With contributions from her friends and family, she explores six key areas of change following her own diagnosis - senses, relationships, emotions, environment, communication and attitude.

What is it like to boil an egg?

Is living alone a blessing or a curse?

How does it feel to be cared for by your own children?

Do dreams feel different?

Can people with dementia care for others?

Why is planning for tomorrow just as important as living for today?

Wendy, who lives in Yorkshire, England, is now an Alzheimer's ambassador, helping to spread awareness about the disease and encouraging others to see that there is life after a diagnosis.

In 2019 she was awarded an honorary Doctor of Health by the University of Bradford for her contribution to research.

Wendy remains positive and active. One of her most recent escapades was a tandem skydive. And she says she still has many adventures ahead of her.

What I Wish People Knew About Dementia - From Someone Who Knows, by Wendy Mitchell (published by Bloomsbury) RRP $26.99.

You can follow Wendy's countless escapades on her blog HERE