Dementia: A Positive Response
Hope, help and humour on the journey.
Dementia is a major medical and social problem. It is a serious and progressive condition that can affect every area of life. By 2025 there will be 1 million people in UK with dementia, 1 in 6 people over 80 and a significant number of younger people. It affects a wide circle of those around each individual.
Take appropriate steps and progression may be slowed, enabling years of interesting and companionable, comfortable and enjoyable life.
Those with dementia need and deserve much personal loving care!
This book contains practical advice about how best to provide good and appropriate support. Whether you are someone with dementia, a personal carer, a family member or someone with a concern about the condition, you will find reasons for hope and positive encouragement. In simple language it sets out the current understanding about the condition and practical ways to help those living with the disease.
“…the most inspiring and helpful book on dementia that I have read.”Dr Gareth Tuckwell
“…varied, comprehensive, sympathetic and realistic…”Rev. Tom Houston
Dr William A. M. Cutting
William Cutting was born in South India where his father was a medical missionary and his grandfather had been Principal of a Mission High School in Varanasi (Benares, North India). He trained in medicine at Edinburgh University where he met his wife, Margot, who was also training for medical mission work. They worked in rural India, Andhra Pradesh, for twelve years, developing simple child health services and using nutrition rehabilitation to help mothers feed their malnourished children back to health with local foods.
After six years at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and the Tropical Child Health Unit of the Institute of Child Health, Great Ormond Street, he was appointed to the Department of Child Life and Health of the University of Edinburgh with special responsibility for international paediatric trainees. He also acted as consultant with WHO, UNICEF, British Council etc. His research interests were wide. At one time he was responsible for two small international teams. In Bangladesh they studied zinc supplementation and catch-up growth in malnourished children, and in Zaire, HIV infection in children. His work provided him much interesting international experience as well as many contacts and friends.
After retiring in 1998, his wide clinical and pastoral interests turned to the many and varied needs of the elderly. He started to collect material, write for and befriend a circle of older people. The paediatrician metamorphosed into a concerned, amateur geriatrician.
Endorsements and Reviews
Dr Robert Twycross, Oxford University
Being diagnosed with dementia is surely always devastating and increasingly life-changing. However, ‘Dementia: a positive response’ demonstrates clearly that all is not total darkness. In this easy-to-read book, we learn (perhaps surprisingly) that there can be positives for both victim and carer – including ways in which we can reduce the likelihood of developing dementia or slowing its progress. Further, we are reminded that a Christian perspective gives an added dimension: “…even if much of the brain has been destroyed, the soul remains. The real person is still there, fully remembered, known to and deeply loved by God, and worthy of care and respect.” And those last five words provide the basis for the individual person-centred supportive care championed throughout the book. Strongly recommended.
Dr Robert Twycross (FRCP)
Emeritus Clinical Reader in Palliative Medicine, Oxford University
Canon John Rees
This delightful book of analysis, anecdote and comic insights is a welcome antidote to the pessimism that dominates so much commentary on the contemporary scourge of dementia. As a practising lawyer and a priest, I only wish William Cutting’s book had been available when I was training in each profession. I commend it for careful study by students and practitioners in both – and by everyone with an interest in human development and decline.
Canon John Rees
Legal Adviser to the Archbishop of Canterbury
Dr Gareth Tuckwell, Sanctuary Care
This is the most inspiring and helpful book on dementia that I have read. For those concerned that their forgetfulness is an early sign of this illness, for those needing practical help in living with dementia, for carers, especially those on the edge of burn out, for Christians who feel God has abandoned them in this illness and for churches and communities wanting to offer a dementia-friendly environment and appropriate pastoral care, reading and learning from this book will be invaluable. This book is written with clarity, deep insight and understanding, Christian love and a good dose of humour. Dementia touches us all in one way or another on our journey through life so get reading!
Dr Gareth Tuckwell
Retired hospice medical director and chairman of Sanctuary Care (which provides a home for thousands with dementia)
Dr Jennifer Bute, Glorious Opportunity
William Cutting’s book is superb, positive and covers just about every aspect of dementia in a way that is easily understood. It is interspersed with delightful drawings, amusing pieces and personal stories. He has also drawn together much that is helpful from many other sources. This book should be a great encouragement and valuable resource for many.
Dr. Jennifer Bute
Former GP and Founder of Glorious Opportunity website, after she was diagnosed with dementia, to support others living with dementia
Rev. David Wenham, New Testament scholar and teacher
William Cutting has done it again – another wonderful book on growing old, full of information, sensitive humour, wise advice and spiritual understanding. This time he helps us face dementia, something that will come close to nearly all of us at some time – whether in the family, in friends or in ourselves. It is a book I want on my bookshelf, so as to be able to consult it, to lend it and to recommend it warmly to others.
Rev. David Wenham
New Testament scholar and teacher in India, Bristol and Oxford
Rev. Tom Houston, Retired after international Christian ministry
Dementia, a Positive Response is an up-to-date summary and condensation of the help available for people with Dementia and those who care about and for them. William really achieves what it says in its subtitle, providing “hope, help and humour” about one of the growing challenges of our 21st century. He comes at it from the angle of a life-long medical man, a paediatrician but also a carer. It helped me to have known William and his wife Margot for many years. It is a varied, comprehensive, sympathetic and realistic handbook. It is not a book to be read through, but [rather] dipped into for the information we need when we or others we know face this illness. He has made the contents accessible, professional and readable by carers and patients alike. It will be a great ‘find’ to very many people in their time of need.
Rev. Tom Houston
Retired after international Christian ministry, leadership and experience as a personal carer
The Very Rev. Dr. James Simpson
In the face of the global challenge of Alzheimer’s disease to both health and social care, Dr Cutting’s book is a very positive and practical response. It not only addresses the needs of those with this dreadful condition, but also the great demands on the carers, who often suffer with the patients. The book highlights the importance of simple things; the loving touch, music, smiles and laughter. He and I believe that a sense of humour is part of the human personality and laughter is a divine gift. In this practical book on a most serious illness, the therapy benefits from the injection of pages of comic relief. A man of Christian faith, Dr Cutting, points out that though dementia can rob a person of both brain and body, it cannot steal the soul. If you know someone caring for a person with dementia, sell your shirt if need be, buy and give this book. It will be a double blessing.
The Very Rev. Dr. James Simpson
Former Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland and Minister of Dornoch Cathedral
“William Cutting’s book is superb, positive and covers just about every aspect of dementia…”Dr Jennifer Bute
“This delightful book of analysis, anecdote and comic insights is a welcome antidote to the pessimism that dominates so much commentary on the contemporary scourge of dementia.”Canon John Rees
“…full of information, sensitive humour, wise advice and spiritual understanding. ”Rev. David Wenham