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“Noel and I began our relationship with Dementia Australia in early 2009. It has been a supportive, life-changing relationship - a multi-dimensional engagement.
Exploring and feeling welcomed in the library has been a vital part of that.
At first, we needed information about dementia and in particular Alzheimer’s disease, as Noel lives with younger onset Alzheimer’s disease. We needed to understand what was swiftly impacting upon and becoming our life. The Dementia Australia Library staff listened to us and suggested books and DVDs that matched our needs. After a while, Noel decided he had enough information and wanted to listen instead. With sufficient knowledge, he lived intuitively with Alzheimer’s.
I needed to know how carers survived and lived meaningful lives with their partners. I read stories and reflections of inspiring people – people who dared to write about their thoughts and actions. Their admissions awakened in me a deeper understanding of the demands of being a carer and of my radical need for self-care, in order to live and create a real and happy life for us!
Reflecting on my lived experience and challenged by this exposure, I began reading self-care and well-being literature. I found myself nourished by various forms of spirituality, challenged by the need to forgive myself and others, being invited to foster compassion towards myself and others. Alzheimer’s plunged us into the unknown, a world that invited us to surrender, if we were to be at peace.
The library has been an enormous resource and the librarians, intuitive companions on our journey into what often feels like a desolate and wondrous world of grief and unimaginable beauty.”
Written by Jenny, carer and wife of Noel who lives with younger onset Alzheimer’s disease.
The national Dementia Australia Library has a range of resources to support people living with dementia, carers, as well as health and aged care professionals. Not a library user? Our extensive collection can be accessed at dementia.org.au/library
Each month our librarians select a 'pick of the month' and for April, they have chosen Mind Your Brain by Dr Kailas Roberts. In Mind Your Brain he brings a wealth of knowledge from his medical practice and presents it in plain and accessible language. This is an invaluable guide for people with dementia, their carers and loved ones, and for anyone who wants to maintain a healthy brain.
You can borrow the resource here: https://dementia-e-library.overdrive.com/media/6072066?cid=90014
Not a library user? Register today at www.dementia.org.au/library