My name is Dr. Jane M. Mullins and I am a dementia nurse consultant. My book is here to offer support and help along the way when you or a relative or friend have received a diagnosis of dementia. This includes Alzheimer’s disease; vascular dementia; Lewy body dementia; frontotemporal dementia or Parkinson’s disease dementia as well as rarer conditions. Based on listening to and supporting people with the condition and their caregivers for over 25 years and up to date research, I can pass on my knowledge and advice to you. If you’re a caregiver, spouse, partner, daughter, son, sibling, friend or a parent, Finding the Light in Dementia is for you. The help and support in this book is also suitable for care homes, hospital staff and home carers.

 

Contents

 

Chapter One:                  A Diagnosis of Dementia, what now?

How to face up to the situation and make positive plans for the future

Chapter Two:                  Communicating from the Heart

How to find ways to help you communicate well together

Chapter Three:               Using Memories to Keep in Touch

Creative approaches to stimulate memory and help with day to day living

Chapter Four:                 Staying Connected through Life Stories

How to re-connect by creating your life stories that you can enjoy together

Chapter Five:                  Creating a Calm, Safe Home

How to help your care partner feel content and safe at home

Chapter Six:                   Sleep is the Best Medication

Gentle approaches to help you both feel rested

Chapter Seven:              Tips for Eating and Drinking

How good nutrition and hydration can provide balance in your lives

Chapter Eight:                I am Still Me!

How to maintain your partner’s dignity and help with their appearance

Chapter Nine:                Understanding Changes in Mood and Behaviour

How to listen and respond to the emotions behind mood and behaviour

Chapter Ten:                  Altered States: Hallucinations, Delusions, Misperceptions

Try new approaches to avoid distress

Chapter Eleven:             Caring for the Caregiver

Quick and easy ways to nurture and replenish yourself

Chapter Twelve:             Considering Care

What to look for in choosing caregivers, respite and care homes

 

 

Each chapter in Finding the Light in Dementia:

    • Explains what your loved one may be feeling and how they experience the world around them.
    • Provides you with valuable tips and advice that will help you both.
    • Gives examples through short caregiver stories.
    • Is written in larger font that is easier to read.
    • Provides summary pages at the end to refer to quickly in a time of need.
    • Provides mood and behaviour journals.
    • Gives quick references when considering professional care and what to pack in the event of a hospital admission.
    • Is a comprehensive resource for your loved one’s care needs and yours!

The Notes pages at the end of each chapter will help you:

  • Chart your loved ones specific needs, likes and dislikes, what works well and what doesn’t for your use and other family members/professional caregivers.
  • Chart activities that may be enjoyed or not; what may trigger certain changes in mood and behaviour and what can help, such as life history information.
  • Create a care plan/diary for yourself and other family members/caregivers.
  • Document changes that may happen over time.
  • Acts as an aide memoir for questions you may want to ask your doctor and other health and social care professionals and for them  to write in at appointments (to save you memorising everything).
“Caring for Mum who has Alzheimer’s had been made much easier after reading this book. Practical suggestions that family and paid carers can work on together has created greater consistency of care. Mum is happier and less anxious. Brilliant resource. Highly recommended” Angharad.

Published Papers

  • Mullins, J.M., Tales, A., Musselwhite, C., Rich, N., 2022, “Rekindling couplehood” using a multisensory suitcase of memories: A pilot study of people living with moderate dementia and their partners, Ageing & Society,  https://doi.org/10.1017/S0144686X21001926
  •  Mullins, Jane M. Book Review: “Wandering the Wards: An Ethnography of Hospital Care and its Consequences for People Living with Dementia.” (2021): 14713012211054370.
  • Hopkinson, J.B., King, A., Mullins, J., Young, L., Kumar, S., Hydon, K., Muthukrishnan, S., Elliott, F. and Hopkinson, M., 2021. What happens before, during and after crisis for someone with dementia living at home: A systematic review. Dementia, 20(2), pp.570-612.
  • Mullins, J.M., 2021. Book Review: Alison Milne (2020). Mental Health in Later Life: Taking a Lifecourse Approach. Bristol: Policy Press, 360 pp. ISBN 9781447305712 (paperback). International Journal of Ageing and Later Life, 15(1), pp.193-196.
  •  Burholt, V., Davies, J., Boyd, M., Mullins, J.M., Shoemark, E.Z. and Centre for Ageing, Dementia Research, Expert Review Group on Continence, Dementia, 2020. A research agenda for promoting continence for people living with dementia in the community: Recommendations based on a critical review and expert‐by‐experience opinion. Journal of Clinical Nursing.
  • Mullins, J. and Fitch, F., 2000. Diagnosis by request: A self referral memory clinic. Journal of Dementia Care, 8(2), pp.30-31.

Finding the Light in Dementia: A Guide for Families, Friends and Caregivers

Paperback

You can purchase this new book on Amazon by clicking the button below:

It’s absolutely amazing, I think it should be compulsory reading for everybody at the start of dementia. I wish it had been around when my husband started developing it

Elizabeth Cox

Wife and Caregiver

“This little book is a life saver for people who have dementia and their caregivers, families and friends. I think it should be given out by every professional who gives the initial diagnosis. People need something to grasp, and the sensitivity, simplicity and emotion contained in this book may help them cope better.”  Lorraine Morgan, Nurse Gerontologist

Finding the Light in Dementia: A Guide for Families, Friends and Caregivers is an essential book that explains common changes that can occur in those living with dementia. By offering valuable approaches, tips and stories, I can help readers learn to care for and maintain a connection with their care partner.

This book offers hope and strength to all of those affected by dementia, whether you’re a spouse, partner, daughter, son, sibling, friend or a parent caring for a loved one. Finding the Light in Dementia will help you discover:

  • How to make sense of dementia.
  • How to communicate and stay connected with your loved one.
  • What to say and do during difficult and challenging circumstances.
  • How to care with confidence.
  • How to reduce stress and distress in you both.

 

Knowing how tired and stressed you may feel, Finding the Light in Dementia is written with:

  • Short and easy to read chapters with summaries to quickly refer to at times of need.

 

  • Notes pages to write in, to tailor the information to your situation acting as an aide memoire/diary about your loved one’s likes & dislikes and what approaches work or don’t work.
  • Ways to communicate your loved one’s needs to other family members, caregivers and professionals.
  • Question prompt sheets for when visiting your doctor or health professional to act as a reminder.
  • Checklists for when considering respite/residential care or during a crisis

 

Planning ahead may help to avoid difficult situations arising and sometimes even avert a crisis

FIVE STAR AMAZON REVIEW

The best bit about this book is it is easy to read – short chapters and clearly written with very little jargon, so it is very accessible. It’s also helpful to have sections for making notes about your own circumstances, the idea being that you have the day to day information to take to a doctor if needed.

The book takes you through from initial diagnosis and it truly does “find the light” in all stages of that journey. It is reassuring for someone who has little or no experience with dementia to know that as a carer they are not alone, as quotes and comments from real life people are included throughout. It is a very positive book and has real tips and techniques for dealing with the situation of having a loved one suffering from such a cruel disease. Sandra, daughter

 

Finding the Light in Dementia: A Guide for Families, Friends and Caregivers

“Jane’s compassion and warmth shines through her words. I believe that it will be a comfort to families/ caregivers who are experiencing the fear of a diagnosis and will offer an anchor when they’re unsure of how to communicate. I think it will also be a helpful tool for professionals to help them educate extended family and friends to help them understand what’s happening and manage expectations. Jane has a real knack for taking the ‘edge’ off a difficult subject through her reassuring tone and practical tips. This gives people a pathway to follow through the ‘mist’ as you would say- a guiding light” Mari Evans Mental Health Nurse Consultant.
It is important that you do not face this alone, encourage your friends and family to get involved. Over time you may need to look for some additional support such as from a befriender, who are volunteers that come to help as friendly visitors into your home or as a caregiver. Show them Finding the Light to help them understand how they can communicate and know your partner’s needs which will help them care and connect in a dignified way, thereby helping you and your loved one. You also need to make sure that you look after yourself as you will not be able to care if you are unwell or exhausted, Finding the Light offers some enjoyable quick ways for you to recharge your batteries regularly throughout the day.

BOOK AVAILABLE NOW

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A few samples from the book can be seen below: