Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Dementia Reimagined: Building a Life of Joy and Dignity from Beginning to End” as Want to Read:
Dementia Reimagined: Building a Life of Joy and Dignity from Beginning to End
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Dementia Reimagined: Building a Life of Joy and Dignity from Beginning to End

3.91  ·  Rating details ·  117 ratings  ·  32 reviews
The cultural and medical history of dementia and Alzheimer's disease by a leading psychiatrist and bioethicist who urges us to turn our focus from cure to care .

Despite being a physician and a bioethicist, Tia Powell wasn't prepared to address the challenges she faced when her grandmother, and then her mother, were diagnosed with dementia--not to mention confronti
Hardcover, 320 pages
Published April 2nd 2019 by Avery Publishing Group
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Dementia Reimagined, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Dementia Reimagined

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
3.91  · 
Rating details
 ·  117 ratings  ·  32 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Apr 15, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Absolutely fantastic. The perfect blend of sarcasm, sass and wit that I'm looking for when talking about the state of aging and care for older adults in the United States.

Dementia Reimagined covers the history of treatment of dementia in the United States and abroad in a way that I haven't come across in the many many books I've read on dementia. I love that she spoke about Dr Fuller, an African American research who came to a lot of the same conclusions about Alzheimer's that we are coming to
Shirley Freeman
I'm really glad I read this - especially the second half. In the first half of the book, Powell outlines the history of the definitions/ treatment course/cultural understanding of dementia and Alzheimer's disease. She writes well and accessibly but while the history is good to understand, it was less compelling than the second half. The point of outlining the history of treatment is to support her argument that we need to divert resources from only focusing on cure to focusing on care. As baby b ...more
Aug 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This book is extremely informative about the history of treatment for mental illness, the place of dementia and Alzheimers in that history, the distinction between those two, and the story and status of the search for treatment. Powell is a psychiatrist and doctor who has a history of Alzheimers/dementia in her family and thus knows she has a good chance of also having it, so she investigated it thoroughly. She makes it very clear that everything we've done so far to try to resolve this problem ...more
Jul 25, 2019 rated it did not like it
So disappointing! Really nothing for those of us who are dealing with someone else's dementia and trying to find the way to treat them and give them joy and dignity to the end of their lives. First came a history of how dementia ws treated inthe past, either as simple aging or as madness (mental illlness) and confinement in mental institutions. Then she went right into how she wants to be treated if she has dementia. Totally unrealistic. Waste of my time.
Bill Hurlbut
May 30, 2019 rated it liked it
As someone caring for a person with dementia, I hoped for a bit more from this book.

The bulk of the early part is a history of mental illness and its treatments, both medical and societal. This was familiar from other works on mental illness, with a few exceptions, including the notable story of Solomon Fuller.

Fuller’s research refuted many of the current hypotheses about the causes of Alzheimer’s and dementia. However, he was dismissed and ultimately forgotten, in the main because he was Afri
Elizabeth McInerney
Jun 16, 2019 rated it really liked it
A valuable read for anyone dealing with a loved one with dementia or Alzheimers, or for anyone contemplating a future with either of these conditions. The book starts off with a history of institutionalized care for the mentally ill, which many years ago, included elders with dementia. At first, I found myself frustrated with the inclusion of this and wanted the book to get on with today, but it became clear further on that the past informs the present.

Together, my husband and I have 3 parents
May 26, 2019 rated it really liked it
The first half of the book delves into the history and progression in recognizing Dementia. The second half goes more into detail on what dementia care can look like as well as the political part of research associated with Alzheimer’s disease. The last 3 chapters were the hardest for me to read. What does a good life with dementia look like. And what does a good ending of life with dementia look like.

I think it is a good book. I need more details of how a dementia person looks like and how to
Jun 17, 2019 rated it liked it
I heard an interesting interview between Terry Gross and Tia Powell on NPR, which prompted me to purchase this book. My mother has dementia, and I am always looking for books and articles which help me understand it more - specifically, when it comes to care-taking, dealing on a regular basis with a loved one who has dementia, and specific plans for care that ensure that they are safe, happy, and secure as they battle this terrible illness.

While this book has much to recommend it by way of rese
Robbin Miller
May 27, 2019 rated it really liked it
The author pointed out the concern on how the medical community focuces on the cure and not the care for people with chronic health conditions such as dementia which is the main topic of her book. I felt that I was very familiar with this issue as persons with disabilities have been and continue to fight for "the care" and not the "cure" in how the government pours more money into the latter and not the former. I have been an advocate for 20 plus years in promoting the independent living moment ...more
Jul 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Ordering this after Powell’s interview on NPR’s “Fresh Air,” I expected a more easy-reading book. It’s not, but it’s worth the effort. Powell, who has noted the trend in her family and expects to have Alzheimer’s in old age, has provided a book that everyone with any interest in the subject should read. She gives us the history of dementia diagnosis and treatment, the truth about the pharmaceutical industry’s involvement, and the nitty-gritty about the financial thrashing most people experience ...more
Jul 20, 2019 rated it really liked it
A treatise on dementia, and in depth documentation of the history of dementia and policy implications. Here is what I am looking for and this may be individual to me: trying to get the medical community to respond quickly, completely, holistically, compassionately, and informed to those with dementia and their caregivers- this seems to be the challenge from my experience. Powell says as much but I need some specifics: the different diagnostic characteristics of the various dementias; what are th ...more
Pierre Lauzon
Jun 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Dementia Reimagined is an excellent book. It gave me a detailed history of the disease through the ages and how the public and authorities acted and handled those afflicted. Ms. Powell moves to the current time and her prognosis for a cure in the future (there won’t be a cure in the foreseeable future).

Ms. Powell completes the book with her analysis of what happens mentally and physically over the course of the disease. Things I learned include that dementia (Alzheimer’s related) usually progres
Jun 30, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Dr. Powell's experience with dementia goes beyond what she has seen in her office as a psychiatrist and into the personal since her mother and grandmother both had dementia. This gives her a unique perspective on treating the disease. As she points out, dementia is fatal and cannot be cured. Slowed down a bit perhaps but not cured. So, how to we take care of people with the disease? By enabling them to live as full and joy filled life as we can help them to do. Her thoughts follow along with Dr. ...more
Jun 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This outstanding examination of the state of dementia care and end stage decisions not only reviews the historical path of treatment for dementia, the current practices and personal experience, it makes an impassioned call for compassionate and affordable care for families. With an objective eye towards the ethical concerns for all involved Dr Powell presents the case for public health action. As a professional in the elder services field for 20 years with my own personal experience parental agi ...more
Jul 20, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I imagine for someone who is entirely new to dementia, this book would be a 4 or 5 rating. For me, someone who has been exposed to it 15+ years now and who has read what I can to he the beat caregiver I can be, it was mostly redundant. The beginning chapters are a lot of history on how diseases were labeled and treated earlier in time in America and the last few chapters but a lot of good information but things I already knew/ or already do. I was hopeful this would have some new exciting and in ...more
Jul 27, 2019 rated it liked it
Really this should be 2.5 stars. I heard an interview with the author and was really interesting in learning more about how to respectfully care for loved ones with Dementia - my 92-year-old grandmother suffers from it and we are always trying to do the best for her. Unfortunately, it seemed like most of this book was about the history of the disease and how expensive it is to decline in our country. I did appreciate the last 2-3 chapters, which were more focused on caregiving and a “good” death ...more
“…to help you imagine a dementia that contains joy. The capacity to enjoy and respond to MUSIC outlasts many other cognitive functions… people can respond to music they love… I’m going to go ahead and make MY PLAYLIST now, to help me picture being happy even with dementia… This is mostly the music of my youth… This is the music with the best chance to wake me if only for a moment… This playlist helps me create a positive image of living with dementia which I find hard to do… They help you look b ...more
Jul 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shocking how little is known about dementia, despite the $5.6 billion+ that has been spent on research. Powell offers insights into the why behind this situation. She also provides a history of how dementia patients have been misdiagnosed and (mis)treated. If you're a baby-boomer, this book is must-read right now!
Jun 10, 2019 rated it liked it
Was a bit disappointed with the content here. A large chunk of the book is spent on the details of the Dementia research and progress in funding which would have been better as a significantly smaller portion of the book. It reads like a Wikipedia entry.

The portion with advice is ok, I would seek another resource if that is what you are looking for.
Kenny Freundlich
Jul 13, 2019 rated it really liked it
An exceptionally good book. An important subject, a lot of history of the diagnosis and treatment of what we currently call dementia, and way more humor than you'd ever expect. Tia Powell even includes her own playlist (Earth Wind & Fire, Aretha, Louis Jourdan, Sonny Rollins, etc.) to soothe her if she develops dementia in future decades.

I did not expect writing this good.
Mary Norell Hedenstrom
Jun 30, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This book gets 5 stars as it tells you so many things I couldn't get answers for anywhere else.

Exercise, healthy diet, treating depression, and having a social life, prevent dementia, and are also the best ways to care for people with dementia.

There is no cure for dementia but good care can allay symptoms and give the patient a high quality of life.
May 30, 2019 rated it it was amazing
A very informative work. I now have a direction to pursue in preparation for the ineluctable conclusion of my journey. Tia Powell’s deep understanding of both the disease and the cultural misunderstanding surrounding treatment is a guide for both patients and their caretakers.
John Bouton
Jun 23, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Having heard Tia Powell on Fresh Air, I secured our library's copy and then bought it on the Kindle app for iPad so I could mark it up. What a terrific introduction to memory loss and what wisdom Dr. Powell offers around policy. I highly recommend it.
May 28, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Should be read with Being Mortal.
Tanya French
Apr 28, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Comprehensive overview of dementia-and a eyeopening look at what's in store for the next generation. A considerate and thoughtful look with a palliative approach to care grounding.
Margie Shaw
Jul 02, 2019 rated it liked it
Disappointed not more info on how to prevent dementia or deal with it. Wanted some nuts and bolts ideas but left with a lot of history and research, not helpful for those in the trenches. Too bad.
Jul 12, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Some of it was interesting. The book got repetitive and had a lot of erroneous information.
Liza M
Jul 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This is a great companion to In Pursuit of Memory to better understand the disease of dementia and the importance of finding ways to care for those who suffer from the disease.

I especially appreciated the author's candidness about her own family history and plan for her future care. I am also planning to have dementia and will ensure that everyone close to me has read this book.

Powell gives a call to action within the medical field and within policy and law - I would argue that nearly everyone
Pat Lampe
May 02, 2019 rated it really liked it
This book provided history about dementia and how it is now. Very enlightening and useful for understanding the disease. I especially appreciated the information about end of life.
Jul 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Informative, realistic and hits the mark on dimentia health care needs going forward. Having cared for my mother with dementia, this book addressed critical problems caregivers and patients face.
« previous 1 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
“A doctor might say, “There’s a chance your mother could recover from her pneumonia if we put her on the breathing tube and send her to the ICU.” A chance? That sounds great! A more accurate statement might be something like this: “We could put your mother in the ICU on a breathing tube. I don’t recommend that, because she will suffer, without likely benefit. The tube is so uncomfortable she will have to be sedated, so she can’t communicate with you. She may get restrained so she doesn’t pull out the tube. If she gets through this pneumonia, she will be weaker than before, and more likely to get sick again. This pneumonia signals she is in the final phase of dementia. I recommend that you consider hospice care and a do-not-hospitalize order, focusing on comfort care without the pain and trauma of repeated transfers as she grows weaker.” A family member will have a clearer picture of how this treatment fits into the larger scenario of old age, dementia, and frailty.” 0 likes
More quotes…