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37 of 40 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Why Do Memories Have To Go?
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...
Published 6 months ago by ACB (swansea)

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2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Depressing and Distressing - Living with Dementia
A daughter's account of her mother's decline due to Dementia, and the family's struggles to look after her at home. A comprehensive review of cognitive function and aging processes, normal and abnormal, from medical and psychological perspectives was insightful and informative. However the story itself was a bit confusing to follow - perhaps the reader gets an insight to...
Published 5 months ago by Helen Barnfield


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37 of 40 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Why Do Memories Have To Go?, 1 Feb 2014
By 
ACB (swansea) - See all my reviews
(TOP 50 REVIEWER)   
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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14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A love letter to a much-beloved mother. Highly recommended, 4 Feb 2014
By 
Timothy J. Bazzett "BookHappy" (Reed City, MI USA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Where Memories Go: Why Dementia Changes Everything (Hardcover)
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. And what made it even worse was that Mamie seemed to know what was happening to her, as evidenced by her "heroic ability to summon words to express what [she] was going through." This is heartbreakingly clear in some of her last coherent sentences, phrases like -

"I've reached a stage where everything is nothing ... I'm just daft ... I just felt the whole world was going."

And I must readily admit here, that I could not remain objective about a book like this. Having lost my own aged mother in the past year, Magnusson's descriptions of her mother's rapid decline and the indignities endemic to old age made me remember my mother's last months and weeks. As I read Magnusson's account, I often found myself grimacing, on the verge of tears. I knew, of course, that a book like this could not end happily, and at the end, which I knew must come, I wept.

This is a book about love. If you have lost a beloved parent, you will relate. And yes, you will probably weep. HIGHLY recommended. (four and a half stars)

- Tim Bazzett, author of the memoir, BOOKLOVER
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22 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful!, 31 Jan 2014
By 
Booklover (Angus, Scotland) - See all my reviews
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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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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A similar journey, 8 Feb 2014
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From early in the book you realise that this is a journey that so many must make. It was a wonderful book on how one family coped with this painful (to all members) illness of Alzheimer's. I especially appreciated the candour of Sally and the openness of the feelings. Both feelings and facts are exposed to the reader. We also are travelling this path and this book has helped me more than any information previously received.
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25 of 29 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Recommended, 31 Jan 2014
By 
SM (England) - See all my reviews
(TOP 50 REVIEWER)   
Losing any loved one to dementia is so desperate and so sad. One of those helpless times where you feel that it just marches steadfastly through all of your lives slowly pulling apart the threads that hold your family and relationships together.

This book clearly shows how this is the case yet at the same time shows a very human slant on the disease. It encompasses humour and intelligence to the subject but the desperation and the love are also there.

It is a really good read. It will have you crying to smiling within pages. Would recommend.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars a book worth reading, 10 April 2014
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Excellent honest account of caring for someone with dementia. Although poignant there are some laugh out loud moments.
Sally Magnusson has set up a project Playlist for Life. Although dementia affects memory and sometimes speech, it seems that
people with dementia never forget songs from their past. This would be an excellent book for someone caring for a loved one with dementia.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars fantastic read, 5 April 2014
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What a book! Sally writes so well and not only shares some deeply personal honest and often heartbreaking memories but has also researched her topic in great detail educating us all on this devastating condition. As medicine sadly still has a long way to go, support comes to the fore and what an amazing effect those lucky enough to have read this can gain from Sally's own charity providing personal playlists. I cannot think of anyone who would not gain from reading this book.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful read, 2 April 2014
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This review is from: Where Memories Go: Why Dementia Changes Everything (Hardcover)
Superbly written. Both informative and inspirational. In content. Deep personal sharing of close contact with a loved one suffering from this dreadful affliction.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars If care about someone with dementia, this book is for you, 29 Mar 2014
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This review is from: Where Memories Go: Why Dementia Changes Everything (Hardcover)
I am caring for my 89 year old mum who has dementia.

This book describes the practical and emotional journey of this condition; how it affects the person with dementia (as far as someone observing the person can know) and those who are close and caring for them. It is reassuring to read how Sally and her family react and adapt to this ever changing condition and know that it is OK not to get it right all the time; we are human, we learn by our mistakes and are then able to get back on track. Everyone is an individual and each person's dementia will differ depending on many things, including their own personalities, but the general flow of things is familiar. It is also reassuring to read of Sally's decisions about her mother 'not' going into hospital unless absolutely necessary and their thought processes about medical treatment to prolong life. It does not give answers - everyone is different - but it does give us permission to come to our own decisions without guilt.

I would absolutely recommend this book to anyone on this journey.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An Excellent Book, 26 Feb 2014
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I found this book immensely moving and extremely well written. I have a distance relative diagnosed with dementia and basically I was looking for information on this terrible illness but I also found a book full of love and warmth. I laughed out loud several times but at the end I also cried and it takes a very special book to move me that much. This is certainly a book that won't be forgotten.
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Where Memories Go: Why Dementia Changes Everything
Where Memories Go: Why Dementia Changes Everything by Sally Magnusson (Hardcover - 30 Jan 2014)
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