by Sally Magnusson - £8.99 Hodder & Stoughton (2015)
paperback ISBN 13: 9781444751819 | ISBN 10: 1444751816
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.
"This book began as an attempt to hold on to my witty, storytelling mother with the one thing I had to hand. Words. Then, as the enormity of the social crisis my family was part of began to dawn, I wrote with the thought that other forgotten lives might be nudged into the light along with hers. Dementia is one of the greatest social, medical, economic, scientific, philosophical and moral challenges of our times. I am a reporter. It became the biggest story of my life."Regarded as one of the finest journalists of her generation, Mamie Baird Magnusson's whole life was a celebration of words - words that she fought to retain in the grip of a disease which is fast becoming the scourge of the 21st century. Married to writer and broadcaster Magnus Magnusson, they had five children of whom Sally is the eldest. As well as chronicling the anguish, the frustrations and the unexpected laughs and joys that she and her sisters experienced while accompanying their beloved mother on the long dementia road for eight years until her death in 2012, Sally Magnusson seeks understanding from a range of experts and asks penetrating questions about how we treat older people, how we can face one of the greatest social, medical, economic and moral challenges of our times, and what it means to be human.
(Price & availability last checked: March 2015)