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The last ocean : a journey through memory and forgetting

by Gerrard, Nicci,

Format: Print Book 2019.
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Summary
From the award-winning journalist and author, a lyrical, raw and humane investigation of dementia that explores both the journeys of the people who live with the condition and those of their loved ones

After a diagnosis of dementia, Nicci Gerrard's father, John, continued to live life on his own terms, alongside the disease. But when an isolating hospital stay precipitated a dramatic turn for the worse, Gerrard, an award-winning journalist and author, recognized that it was not just the disease, but misguided protocol and harmful practices that cause such pain at the end of life. Gerrard was inspired to seek a better course for all who suffer because of the disease.

The Last Ocean is Gerrard's investigation into what dementia does to both the person who lives with the condition and to their caregivers. Dementia is now one of the leading causes of death in the West, and this necessary book will offer both comfort and a map to those walking through it. While she begins with her father's long slip into forgetting, Gerrard expands to examine dementia writ large. Gerrard gives raw but literary shape both to the unimaginable loss of one's own faculties, as well as to the pain of their loved ones. Her lens is unflinching, but Gerrard honors her subjects and finds the beauty and the humanity in their seemingly diminished states.

In so doing, she examines the philosophy of what it means to have a self, as well as how we can offer dignity and peace to those who suffer with this terrible disease. Not only will it aid those walking with dementia patients, The Last Ocean will prompt all of us to think on the nature of a life well lived.
Published Reviews
Publisher's Weekly Review: "Gerrard, coauthor with Sean French of the thrillers published under the pseudonym Nicci French, takes on dementia in this vivid combination of memoir and investigative journalism. Moved to write about the condition by her father's decline into dementia, she interweaves her memories of him with the stories of other affected people-family members and caregivers as well as patients, and insights from doctors and researchers. The book traces the arc of the condition, from early chapters on facing up to and diagnosing it in its many forms-Alzheimer's being just the best-known-to a section on optimizing quality of life, to a discussion of care options in the advanced stages. Yes, she acknowledges, dementia is a terminal condition, the "sniper in the garden" and a "sneaky intruder in the house," but there are ways to live with it, and even live well. The arts, in particular, "support longer lives better lived," as Gerrard finds at the hospitals and homes now incorporating them. She, herself, after her father's death, launched John's Campaign to gain caregivers the right to stay with dementia patients in the hospital, just as parents do with their children. With dementia now afflicting one in six people over 80, Gerrard's informative and thought-provoking book is pertinent to all. Agent: Joy Harris, Joy Harris Literary. (Aug.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved."
(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Additional Information
Subjects Dementia -- Patients -- Biography.
Dementia -- Patients -- Care.
Dementia -- Patients -- Family relationships.
Dementia -- Patients -- Social aspects.
Publisher New York :2019.
Other Titles What dementia teaches us about love
Language English
Notes Originally published as: What dementia teaches us about love. London, England : Allen Lane, 2019.
Description 254 pages ; 22 cm
Bibliography Notes Includes bibliographical references (pages 235-252).
ISBN 9780525521969
0525521968
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