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Where Memories Go: Why Dementia Changes Everything

Where Memories Go: Why Dementia Changes Everything [Kindle Edition]

Sally Magnusson
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (139 customer reviews)

Print List Price: £16.99
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This is simply beautiful, honest, piercingly intelligent, page-turning and written from the heart. A stunning piece of writing and experience. (Alistair Moffat, author, broadcaster and book festival director. Rector of the University of St. Andrews)

This is an extraordinarily moving memoir which is, at the same time, a fascinating exploration of a condition that touches virtually every family. This book will help our understanding. (Alexander McCall Smith)

Intensely moving and inspiring, it is as much about living, laughing and family life as it is about loss and death. I read it in one sitting and thought about it again and again. (Joanna Lumley)

A brave story of a family's love for their mother, told with affection, steadfastness and humour - and a cool-headed battle-cry to do more and better. (Sarah Brown, global campaigner for Health and Education)

Never has the subject of dementia been dealt with so movingly and with such penetrating intelligence. Sally Magnusson writes with the deep love of a daughter, and the calm professionalism of a journalist. The result is a work of genuine significance, that brings understanding and analysis to an affliction that thousands of families must face in the years ahead. A beautiful and important book. (Magnus Linklater, Times columnist, Scottish commentator and former editor of The Scotsman)

I was in tears on the very first page. (Kirsty Wark)

The story of remarkable women from a remarkable family living through the journey of dementia. At times funny and heartening, and at times desperately sad, it is an inspiration to others who will walk this path. All who work in the field need to read this and reflect on what we can do to improve on the services we currently provide. (Dr June Andrews, director of the Dementia Services Development Centre, Stirling University)

A wonderful book. (Dr Frank Gunn-Moore, molecular neurobiologist)

A lovely book - so intimate and truthful, painful and joyous. (Liz Lochhead, National Poet for Scotland)

A remarkable and courageous book which will have immense positive benefits for many different people - those who care, those who are entering the long walk into the gloaming, and those who are responsible for making and implementing policy. Mostly dementia does not alight simply on one person: its eddies can encompass a whole family. This book tells one such story in an exquisite, but sometimes painful way. (Lord Sutherland of Houndwood, philosopher, former chair of the Royal Commission on Long-Term Care of Older People and President of Alzheimer Scotland)

Book Description

Scottish broadcaster and author, Sally Magnusson, cared with her two sisters for her mother, Mamie, during her long struggle with dementia, until her death in 2012. This moving and honest account of losing a loved one day by day to an insidious disease is both deeply personal and a challenging call to arms. Faced with one of the greatest social, medical, economic and moral challenges of our times, society must urgently reconsider how we look after the most fragile of our citizens.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
32 of 35 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Why Do Memories Have To Go? 1 Feb 2014
By ACB (swansea) TOP 50 REVIEWER
Format:Kindle Edition
Sally Magnusson, a television reporter, is the daughter of Magnus, broadcaster and journalist, who died of cancer in 2007. This is the moving account of Sally's mother, Mamie, herself a newspaper reporter, and her dementia that relentlessly advances, is life-changing for the sufferer, those surrounding her and for which there is no cure until death intervenes. The author writes that 'Dementia is one of the greatest social, medical, economic, scientific, philosophical and moral changes of our time. I am a reporter, it became the biggest story of my life'. This is a memorial to Mamie and also to memory. The devastation felt by a child whose mother cannot remember your name or later even who you are is unbearable. The tragic and poignant downward spiral in memory and communication is accompanied by brief moments of confused communication, imparted in a sweet and humorous way by the author. The smiles bely the underlying problem that may start with forgetfulness, repetition, a bemused expression, and confusion. How many of us are affected by these? Age-related or the beginnings of something more sinister.

Sally Magnusson has written of her mother's later life and is a fitting memorial to an adored and talented mother. Little is told of her life before her Alzheimer's disease set in. As our population lives longer, most of us will have someone close or know of someone with this dreadful mystery of age. This book may go towards helping, in whatever way, one person's experience, and that we, the readers are not alone. My family have seen this sad decline in our family members. A fine, well-written loving and touching book.
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22 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful! 31 Jan 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Such a good book - Sally Magnusson is a brilliant writer and her account of her mother's decline is heart rending. There is also lots of information on dementia of all kinds - something I found fascinating as someone whose grandparents both had dementia. Not all sad though - laugh out loud moments too and a memoir written with great love. Anyone involved in dementia care should read.
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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
Sally Magnusson's WHERE MEMORIES GO: WHY DEMENTIA CHANGES EVERYTHING is, more than anything, a heartbreakingly beautiful love letter to her late mother, who succumbed, following a years-long struggle, to that cruellest of diseases.

Mamie Magnusson was a journalist and columnist, locally famous and beloved in her native Scotland, where, with her more famous husband, TV personality Magnus Magnusson, she raised five children of whom Sally is the oldest. The author's memories of her parents and the ways in which she and her siblings rallied together to provide care as her mother's mind slowly slipped away form the beating heart of this touching tribute. As an investigative journalist, Magnusson also inserts alternate chapters incorporating the research she undertook about the insidious nature of Alzheimer's and other causes of dementia; and she also documents the grossly inadequate and often casually cruel way in which dementia patients are treated and 'warehoused' by the health care system. And while all of this is helpful and informative, the thing that makes this book so damn good, so heart-wrenchingly effective, is the personal stuff: the stories of her parents' childhoods and courtship, her memories of her own childhood, the description of losing her father to pancreatic cancer, and, most of all, the final years, months and days of her mother's life.

There is humor here too, as Mamie was a person who loved to laugh and sing and make others laugh - a quality she kept right up to the bitter end, fighting through the fog of dementia, groping for words. And losing the 'words' was perhaps the cruelest cut of all, because Mamie loved words, made her living with words. But when the words began to go, it simply became too very sad.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Understanding Mother 25 Mar 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
An inspiring, insightful and poignant account of a mother's life with dementia and the effect it had on a daughter's relationship.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent book 24 Mar 2014
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Excellent book. My wife has this terrible condition and it is good to realise that we all suffer as much as the patient
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Ingram 23 Mar 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
one of the most moving books I have read. but far more, it provided me with much information and understanding. not only about Alzheimer's but about relationships and love. many many thanks
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A must 23 Mar 2014
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Fabulous book, with very sad and very happy memories. A must for anyone interested in Alzheimers or with a friend/relation who has it. Not too medical and follows the progress in a light hearted but meaningful manner.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Poignant and loving story 24 Feb 2014
By smax
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
as I read this I remembered my days,with mum as,she came to the end of her life x lite memories like stroking her cheek and, making her smile .... saying "I love you mummy" and she always replied " I love you too". they were the very last words she said to me x music is important .. I played a little iPod for mum and she laughed and sang too ... I wish I had played more music too her. like sally mum my mum just passed peacefully and I sat with her till morning till fetching dad to say his own little last farewell. I think of her every day and reading this was a little insight to the strange world of dementia suffered by so many. but as sally said the person is still there in a look or a glance and that's the most precious thing to hang on to. it was a privilege to share her story.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Bittersweet
An excellent account of the journey of the author with her mother through dementia. Hard yet comforting to share too.
Published 3 days ago by MH58
5.0 out of 5 stars but all done with love, hunour & honesty - truly moving & heart ...
Superb, as someone whose own parent is just starting the journey into dementia it has helped to explain a lot as well as act as a warning as to what is to come, but all done with... Read more
Published 4 days ago by Wilom
5.0 out of 5 stars Truly astonishing
I listened to an Audible version of this book, narrated by Sally Magnusson. In addition to enjoying her excellent narration, I admire her courage in reading this deeply affecting... Read more
Published 6 days ago by Bookie
5.0 out of 5 stars Real love
Excellent-very moving account of 'losing' your Mum.
Published 8 days ago by jacqueline mccaig
5.0 out of 5 stars Dementia
Having had a Mum with Dementia who I recently lost, every thing in this book brought it all back all the feelings the struggles we went through and mainly the guilt you will always... Read more
Published 10 days ago by Pindi Windsor
5.0 out of 5 stars This book should be prescribed reading for everyone involved in ...
This book should be prescribed reading for everyone involved in the care of the elderly. It combines personal details and some insights in to the causes of dementia.
Published 13 days ago by Chris
5.0 out of 5 stars Alzheimers Diseaes Care
Really helpful in understanding possibilities about looking after and understanding someone with Alzheimers disease; though it is very different when the main Carer is a partner... Read more
Published 15 days ago by Patricia Hurford
4.0 out of 5 stars a dificult subject tackled sensitively.
Sally magnusson gives the reader a clear picture of the person her mother had been
before Altzeimers. Read more
Published 15 days ago by Alexandrina Waddell
5.0 out of 5 stars Where memories go - a must read book for families who have someone...
My wife thoroughly enjoyed this very poignant book, as she has worked with people with dementia and understood all the emotions that Sally went through. Read more
Published 16 days ago by John Donnelly
5.0 out of 5 stars Where Memories Go... By Sally Magnusson
I would recommend this book to anyone who has a loved one with Alzheimer's. Sally Magnusson gives a very valuable insight into living with someone who has the condition. Read more
Published 17 days ago by Helen Trebilco
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