Trevor Jarvis was diagnosed with vascular dementia in 2001. Since then, he has become an Alzheimer’s Society ambassador and a Dementia Friends champion. He joined us at the launch of Reading Well Books on Prescription for dementia in January, where he spoke about his own experience and explained why the books on the list will be such an important resource for people with dementia and their carers.
To have these books available will help carers, sons, daughters or neighbours, as well as people with dementia, to get some information to prepare them on what may be ahead.
People who are taking on the role of caring for someone with dementia are doing something that even professional carers find challenging sometimes. That is why it’s important to have up-to-date information from the start. Without this it can be a minefield out there. This information should include what you might expect from the person you are caring for, such as mood changes as their ability decreases to do things they could do before the dementia set in. This can cause frustration for them and put pressure on their carers.
What’s nice about the scheme is that carers, and people with dementia, get access to the books in a library and get the information they want without having to pay for it. Not everybody’s in a position where they can afford a book. Maybe they don’t want that book to keep but they need information. I think it’s fantastic. This is a very powerful tool so let’s make sure that people understand that this information is available through their library.
There is an old saying: forewarned, forearmed. The more books that are available for the public to access through libraries or other outlets, the better. And if the scheme can be publicised in council offices, doctors’ surgeries, hospitals, pharmacies and where people get their memory tests, this will help to take some of the pressure off them.
Find out more about the Reading Well Books on Prescription for dementia titles.