Book Review with Lauretta – 20 February 2017

Extreme caring by Stuart Donnan

Stuart Donnan is an Australian doctor who moved to UK in 1966 who specialised in the area of social medicine. In 2000 his wife Beryl had a stroke and later also developed dementia. Stuart gave up his work to become Beryl’s carer. This book is an account of his journey and I found it compelling reading as it was written from the view of a caring husband who was also so medically knowledgeable.

Beryl and he were always great readers and art collectors and travellers. He spends time in this book not focussed so much on the physical care but on how their interests were maintained and used to keep Beryl focussed on the special things she loved- for example her love of books despite not being able to read anymore. His way of coping with her aphasia was unique. She continued to enjoy travel and art appreciation despite her challenges because of Stuart’s extreme caring.

The lesson in this book for diversional therapists is that with knowledge of the real person and their cultural interests, the challenges required to enjoy life can be minimised. This is a good reference for educators and staff in aged care.

Find out more about this inspiring book from the publisher where you can also make a purchase the book.

Extreme Caring can also be borrowed from the Alzheimer’s library.

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