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4.6 out of 5 stars
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on 1 September 2009
this is a very innovative and interesting concept that ensures the biggest burden for an individual with dementia, THE TRADITIONAL APPROACH to caring is not used,tasks such as making beds washing laundry and cleaning floors should not the most important roles of a carer, the individual and what is important to them should. In this book Penny gives the carer food for thought in that she offers an alternative by allowing the individual with dementia to remain in control of what they feel are important to them and therefore as the book's title they are content. Superb use of exercises for the carer to practice using the 'golden rules' such as not asking questions, not quite as easy as it sounds. I found this book a breath of fresh air in an area of care that does suffer from being at the back of the queue so to speak with regard to assisting the carer in there totally demanding role
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on 3 September 2009
Subject is well covered & is clearly by a person who has first hand experience, coupled with a deep thinking and patient nature. This book provides well thought out advice for family & carers.
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VINE VOICEon 20 September 2010
My wife read a paper review of this book and subsequently I looked up the reviews in Amazon. We then decided to at least give it a try with such glowing reviews. Our loved one is in the early stages of dementia, but is very much tuned to living on memories from the past. these memories are increasingly becoming less factual. The short term memory is also becoming a problem for the loved one and ourselves. Increasingly the client (name given to subject from this book) is living in a negative world, anything misplaced has been stolen, people are criticising the client about all matter of things. People are watching the client, curtains are drawn, doors locked and bolted even with us in the house, a mobile phone given to the client for emergencies is switched off and hidden away to stop people watch the client through it.
I have only recently finished reading the book and in that short time have started to use the methods suggested in the book. What a change, the world is certainly beginning to change for the client and us. I have recommended reading the book to other members of family and hope that we will be able to agree a course of action based on the method therein. Thus you will see that I am at present pleased with the book's recommendations.

If you have someone you care or are caring for with dementia, no matter at what stage, buy and read this book. It talks a lot of sense and you might find life easier for your client and you. What have you got to lose.
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on 14 September 2014
It is written in an easy, readable style - which is just what you need to get over the shock of learning that your husband of almost 50 years has Altzheimer's. Read this and don't listen to women (or men) who insist on telling you what martyrs they are to their other half's dementia. You do get occasional glimpses of your old beloved one, and sometimes you can even have a laugh together over it - believe it or not. And remember, look after yourself to help you look after him/her!
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on 28 July 2014
I cannot recommend this book too highly.

I was the full time carer for my mother who had rheumatoid arthritis for 13 years. Last July 2013 mum started to stutter and have hallucinations. This was unexpected and very worrying. Her behaviour changed and by September the Doctors expected dementia. Such a diagnosis was devastating for both of us. Mum deteriorated very quickly and by November the dementia had become very pronounced.
There is very little practical help out there. So I googled it and found this book. Having read the reviews I decided to buy it.
The book helps the carer, me to understand the disease and by doing so helps you help the person. I had already fallen into the trap of 'common sense' approach which had made these worse. This was a reaction to the diagnosis. I think I did this to try and reverse the changes I saw. The common sense approach of repeating things and correcting the person as if by reinforcing things it will help the memory loss. In fact this approach has the opposite effect of only increasing their anxiety and pushes their loss of memory to the fore! The person with dementia becomes very anxious and reacts very badly to it. What the book helps you with is practical approach to the disease. Effectively by setting the right mood by your responses you can calm and ensure a contentment for you and the loved one suffering this 'for them' a terrifying disease. Oliver James approach is about focusing on the person and making them more contented which greatly helps you as the carer manage. Mum had vascular dementia which was very rapid. I cared for mum until she died this April. In the end I was pleased I did it and she died happy and contented with the people who loved her. It was difficult and there were hard times but with the help of this book it can be done.
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on 22 March 2012
I live a long way from my Grandmother - sadly I only see her about once a month. She was diagnosed with dementia about 6 months ago. Until I read and implemented some the advice given in this book, my visits were a nightmare. Gran was agitated, she would repeat over and over that her life was 'terrible' , that no one understood her, she was lonely... Endless repetition, like meditating on a nightmare. When I got back home after my visits I was frequently upset for days after and was starting to dread visiting. I had no idea how full time carers coped.
This book has transformed the limited time I have with her. Frequently, now, we have moments where it feels like the younger, unique, funny woman that she was is back with me. She still has so much to offer. I am ashamed to say that before I read this book, I was starting to forget.
Whatever your relationship is with a dementia sufferer, be it full time carer or long distance granddaughter - I heartily recommend this book. Use the bits in it that work, leave the bits that are unrealistic, for example, if you don't have the resources.
This book has given me just a bit more time with my lovely granny.
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on 29 August 2009
A fabulous book, which has inspired me & my mother to try the approach with my father. Well-written and clear techniques that you can use at your own pace. Takes some of the fear away after an Altzheimer's diagnosis.
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on 17 July 2012
A copy of Contented Dementia was passed to me and my sisters shortly after our Mother received a diagnosis of Alzheimer's type dementia. We were distressed at the news of her condition and keen to learn of anything that might enhance her life as the condition progressed. The real-life examples recounted in Oliver James' book convinced us to adopt and embrace the approach to care which the book recommends; a set of rules we could share in the hope of sustaining a happy state for our Mum. Almost three years later, I'm delighted to say that Mum remains content and finds things to enjoy in every day. Dementia doesn't cease to be a problem but in following many of the recommendations contained in the book we have found an approach that enables us to provide for her needs and support her feelings of calm and self-confidence. It's amazing how often we find ourselves referring back to a lesson learned from the book and feeling pleased that we received the benefit of its advice at the outset. I would strongly recommend this book to carers, relatives and professionals who may be involved in the care of Dementia sufferers.
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on 29 November 2015
A must-read for anyone who is caring for or spending any amount of time with a person suffering from dementia. In my experience - as a healthcare professional - so much distress can be caused by people striving to correct people with dementia in the mistaken belief that this will help to improve their memory. This book explains why that is not the case and what any one of us can do to help people with dementia avoid the very real terror of realization that they are losing their faculties. I will recommend this far and wide.
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on 12 September 2015
My Mother is suffering from dementia and there was much about this book that was very informative but I think it was geared to care in the home rather than in Care Homes. I regretted buying the book in Kindle form because I think in paper form it would have been easier to go back and cross - reference things. That may just be me not working out how to do this on my Kindle!
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