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I have worked with individuals with Dementia as well as attending training on the condition through my work as a home care assistant. In recent years my Grandad has experienced significant issues with his memory. I am interested in the disease and how best to work with individuals who have it to enable them to live as well and independently as possible. I feel the same way about any disability.
I went on to read the blurb, to find out a little bit more about the story I was going to become part of. The story is centred about the central character, Maud. Maud is in her eighties and has vascular dementia. Maud narrates her quest to unravel and solve two tales, one is the disappearance of her friend Elizabeth, the second, interwoven through flashbacks, is the mystery of Maud's sister's disappearance seventy years earlier. This is alongside Maud using handwritten notes to herself, not always successfully, to keep track of her day to day life and discoveries.
I thought I had a reasonable understanding of Dementia and how to work with individuals who have it, however, what this book did for me was to give me an insight into what it was like for the individual, how it made them feel when they could see in others reactions that they had forgotten or irritated, the uncertainty and fear felt at times. Some of Maud's mannerisms also made me smile to myself because in them I recognised Grandad, asking the same questions repetitively, reading aloud and following instructions even if it is not the right time to do so. An example of this is when Grandad reads PUSH on the belt clasp of his wheelchair. He will push it and undo his belt even when he needs it to stay done up. After it is secured again, now he has seen it, he cannot leave it alone and every time he sees the instruction, what does he do? Pushes it and around again we go.
I thought that Elizabeth is Missing was a great book, I loved the aspect that touched me personally but also following the unravelling of the two mysteries.
Have you read the book, what are your thoughts?