• Robin Tthomson

Living with Alzheimer's - a Love Story

Updated: Jan 15, 2020

Published in January 2020 by Instant Apostle; ISBN 9781912726196. Available here to order online.

Or you can request it from your local bookshop.

When my wife, Shoko, was diagnosed with Alzheimer's, eight years ago, we had no clue about what lay ahead. A few years later, when the disease actually took over our lives, we learned the hard way. We went through a lot of discouragement and relentless pressure. Shoko’s personality changed and she lost her capacity in many areas of life. She died just over a year ago, from heart failure.

What kept us going were the love and practical help of family and friends, and the remarkable friendship and support of the carers who visited us, backed up by health and social care professionals.

Even more remarkable was my growing awareness of Shoko’s constant affection and love, despite the decline in her mental ability. It was a deeply spiritual journey.

This is our story: we know that each person’s experience of Alzheimer’s (or other forms of dementia) is different. But there are common questions. What can you do to help the person you are caring for and sustain yourself? What resources are available? That is what we began to discover.

The book is written for other caregivers, families and friends, sharing the same pain and pressure, as well as the hope and resources.

Attitudes are changing. But fear and incomprehension are still the most common responses to Alzheimer’s. It truly is a fearsome and mysterious disease. But perhaps we can learn how to respond with love and more understanding.

Some initial responses:

‘Well researched and beautifully written … of significant value to the many who find themselves embarking, or continuing, on the journey that dementia demands.’

Phil Parker, Lead Nurse, National Prion Clinic, UCLH NHS Foundation Trust

‘A book that will make you both laugh and cry … a love story about how the real identity of the self retains its dignity and meaning.’

Robin and Ursula Weekes, Emmanuel Church, Wimbledon

‘A moving account of loneliness and loss, tempered by faith and love … raises a number of pertinent questions about future care that need urgent answers.’

Dr Tim Billington, former GP in Southampton

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