Autobiographies of people with young onset dementia

Slow puncture: living well with dementia
Peter Berry and Deb Bunt

An account of a year in the life of Peter Berry. Happily married and running a successful business in Suffolk, Peter’s life changed when, at the age of 50, he was diagnosed with young onset dementia. Peter has embarked on a series of challenges to show that, life isn’t over with dementia, it’s just a little different, raising thousands of pounds for dementia charities and cycling hundreds of miles in his quest to show that life is always worth living. This is an inspirational look at both living in the present and coping with dementia. In 2021, Peter and Deb wrote a second book, Walk with me: musings through the dementia fog.

Dancing with dementia
Christine Bryden 

Christine was a top civil servant and single mother of three children when she was diagnosed with dementia at the age of 46. ‘Dancing with Dementia’ is a vivid account of her experiences of living with dementia, exploring the effects of memory problems, loss of independence, difficulties in communication and the exhaustion of coping with simple tasks. It continues the story of her journey since diagnosis with dementia, meeting her husband Paul and embarking on a new journey of advocacy for all those living with dementia. She describes how, with the support of her husband, she continues to lead an active life despite her dementia and explains how professionals and carers can help. Christine has also written two other books: Will I still be me? and Who will I be when I die?

Dementia from the inside: a doctor’s personal journey of hope 
Dr Jennifer Bute  

Jennifer was diagnosed with young onset dementia in 2009. She is a distinguished former GP and believes that her dementia is, an opportunity as well as a challenge. In this book she explores what it is like to have dementia, and what can help.

Five minutes of amazing – mjourney through dementia
Chris Graham 

Chris’s world was turned upside down when, at just 34 years of age, he was diagnosed with a rare form of young onset dementia. Dementia had already claimed the life of his father at 42, along with several other members of his family, and tragically had already confined his brother to a nursing home at the age of 43. Chris embarked on an awareness-raising 16,000-mile solo cycle around North America. Five minutes of amazing is both the story of Chris’s epic journey and of his fight against the disease.

Somebody I used to know 
Wendy Mitchell 

When she was diagnosed with dementia at the age of 58, Wendy was confronted with the most profound questions about life and identity. All at once, she had to say goodbye to the woman she used to be. Her demanding career in the NHS, her ability to drive, cook and run. Somebody I used to know is a phenomenal memoir.  It is both a heart-rending tribute to the woman Wendy once was, and a brave affirmation of the woman dementia has seen her become. Wendy has written a second book, What I wish people knew about dementia: from someone who knows

The Lewy body soldier
Norman McNamara  

Norman was diagnosed with dementia with Lewy bodies aged 50. He says, “We have to deal with the cards we are dealt and try to make the best of it.  I hope this book inspires others and they can now understand why a diagnosis of dementia is not the end, but can be the beginning of a new adventure, where there is life, there will always be hope my friends.

Dear Alzheimer’sdiary of living with dementia 
Keith Oliver  

Keith was diagnosed with young onset dementia in 2010 and has since become a leading activist for dementia care, and an international speaker. Telling his story in a diary format, this book gives an unparalleled insight into what day-to-day life with dementia is like, and how he continues to live a full life after diagnosis.

Walk the walk, talk the talk 
Keith Oliver 

On New Year’s Eve 2010, Keith Oliver was told by a doctor that he had Alzheimer’s disease. He was just 55, the head of a thriving primary school, a husband, father and grandfather, in the process of studying for an MA in Education. Walk the walk, talk the talk is the story of Keith’s life before, during and since receiving his diagnosis, told not just by Keith, but by the health professionals, friends and family who know him best, and including a selection of the talks he has given to a wide variety of audiences since his diagnosis. This is a story of hope and encouragement that is both moving and inspiring.

Dementia activist – fighting for our rights 
Helga Rohra 

Helga turns dementia stereotypes on their head with this candid memoir. Speaking about her diagnosis, day-to-day life and experience of advocacy, she proves that a dementia diagnosis doesn’t mean you have to give up on life. With helpful advice and practical tips, this book is a testament to living well with young onset dementia. 

Steve Thompson MBE

Steve is a former Rugby Union player and 2003 Rugby World Cup winner. Once England’s most capped hooker, he played for the British and Irish Lions as well as playing almost 200 matches for the Northampton Saints. Steve was diagnosed in his early 40s with young onset dementia, the result of endless collisions, concussions, and injuries. He is now campaigning to improve the game and safeguard those who play it.

Young onset dementia books

Check out our listing of young onset dementia related books

Click here

Dementia books for children

Check out our listing of books about dementia for children

Click here

Recommend a young onset book

Can you recommend a book about young onset dementia? Share the details with us so we can add it to our listing

Email us