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The Things We Keep
A poignant story of one of today's nightmares: early-onset Alzheimer's.
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Did you learn anything you didn't previously know about dementia while reading this novel?

Created: 02/23/16

Replies: 26

Posted Feb. 23, 2016 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
davinamw

Join Date: 10/15/10

Posts: 1303

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Did you learn anything you didn't previously know about dementia while reading this novel?

Did you learn anything you didn't previously know about dementia while reading this novel?


Posted Feb. 28, 2016 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
candaceb

Join Date: 03/30/14

Posts: 36

RE: Did you learn anything you didn't previously know about dementia while reading this novel?

I didn't learn anything new but certainly this made me look at dementia in a different way and think about how the person with dementia is feeling and their capabilities We all need to connect with others and this book does a great job of highlighting this important fact.


Posted Feb. 28, 2016 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
susanr

Join Date: 04/14/11

Posts: 114

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RE: Did you learn anything you didn't previously know about dementia while reading this novel?

I was surprised at how aware she was of her dementia - especially at the beginning. It made me think about how people with dementia must feel.


Posted Feb. 29, 2016 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
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donnac

Join Date: 03/26/14

Posts: 120

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RE: Did you learn anything you didn't previously know about dementia while reading this novel?

Even though I have read several nonfiction books either by Alzheimer's sufferers themselves or by their caretakers I thought that Hepworth's depiction of Anna, highlighting Anna's need to connect with Luke, was very enlightening. While many people with dementia withdraw into themselves and those that don't probably have all the personal contact they require (like the authors of books about their disease) it was interesting to see another dimension. Anna, even at her rather advanced state, was able to make new friends, to reach out for human contact.


Posted Feb. 29, 2016 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
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bestmartin

Join Date: 02/20/13

Posts: 71

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RE: Did you learn anything you didn't previously know about dementia while reading this novel?

I didn't learn anything new but I loved being with these characters and seeing their struggle and the depth of their feelings.


Posted Feb. 29, 2016 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
ScribblingScribe

Join Date: 02/29/16

Posts: 47

RE: Did you learn anything you didn't previously know about dementia while reading this novel?

I didn't learn anything new either, but I did feel a new appreciation for how difficult a diagnosis like this would be. I agree with what donnac said about Anna and Luke's need to connect with each other and how much it helped both of them. It did make me consider the question of whether love can survive when memory fails. It was a worthy question and one that was answered beautifully in this book.


Posted Mar. 01, 2016 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
judyh

Join Date: 01/26/16

Posts: 20

RE: Did you learn anything you didn't previously know about dementia while reading this novel?

I had never heard of frontotemporal dementia prior to reading this book. I'm glad that the author broadened the scope of dementias beyond Alzheimer's Disease.


Posted Mar. 01, 2016 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
pennyp

Join Date: 03/22/12

Posts: 262

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RE: Did you learn anything you didn't previously know about dementia while reading this novel?

I did learn quite a bit both about Luke's disease and early onset dementia. It case me to look up several sites on the Internet to increase my knowledge. I have lost two family members to Alzheimer's so I did have some knowledge to begin with


Posted Mar. 02, 2016 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
dorothygo

Join Date: 03/27/13

Posts: 20

RE: Did you learn anything you didn't previously know about dementia while reading this novel?

I did not know that some patients experienced difficulty with depth perception. This certainly increases their risk of injury. Something good to know.


Posted Mar. 02, 2016 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
gwenc

Join Date: 07/14/12

Posts: 25

RE: Did you learn anything you didn't previously know about dementia while reading this novel?

I have seen dementia in nursing homes and read books re Alzheimer's, but was unaware of Luke's disease. I feel The Things We Keep is as powerful as Still Alice and hope it helps to shine a light on the need for more research and help for this disease.


Posted Mar. 02, 2016 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
ritaq

Join Date: 01/20/12

Posts: 6

RE: Did you learn anything you didn't previously know about dementia while reading this novel?

I didn't know about Alzheimer in young people. It's bad enough to lose your memories at any age but to to lose the ability to create them is unimaginable.


Posted Mar. 02, 2016 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
ritaq

Join Date: 01/20/12

Posts: 6

RE: Did you learn anything you didn't previously know about dementia while reading this novel?

I was not aware of Alzheimer in young people...bad enough to lose memories but to lose ability to create and develop them is unimaginable.


Posted Mar. 02, 2016 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
ritaq

Join Date: 01/20/12

Posts: 6

RE: Did you learn anything you didn't previously know about dementia while reading this novel?

I didn't know about Alzheimer in young people. It's bad enough to lose your memories at any age but to to lose the ability to create them is unimaginable. I truly admired Anna's courage and Eve's as well. Great book...may recommend it to my book club.


Posted Mar. 02, 2016 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
davinamw

Join Date: 10/15/10

Posts: 1303

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RE: Did you learn anything you didn't previously know about dementia while reading this novel?

We did a "beyond the book" article on early onset Alzheimer's when reviewing The Things We Keep a few weeks ago: https://www.bookbrowse.com/mag/btb/index.cfm/book_number/3340/the-things-we-keep#btb


Posted Mar. 03, 2016 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
maribethr

Join Date: 10/29/14

Posts: 16

RE: Did you learn anything you didn't previously know about dementia while reading this novel?

Having formerly worked in neuropsychology and in that time having evaluated nearly 1,000 patients with a variety of dementias, I was startled to see the age of the main character. The youngest patient that ever was referred to our service was probably nearly 50, so it was definitely eye-opening to think of Alzheimer's in a patient as young as Anna. While it is a very rare occurrence, there have been a small number of patients diagnosed by 40, but it would be unusual. No matter the age, the onset of any dementia is truly a horrible diagnosis for a patient and for the patient's friends and loved ones. The book I found most helpful for families to read about dementia was The 36 Hour Day. The title says it all. The care of a patient is draining on the physical and emotional assets of a family, and it seems that days never end. I really liked this book, even though I found it hard to relate to Anna's age.


Posted Mar. 03, 2016 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
gwenc

Join Date: 07/14/12

Posts: 25

RE: Did you learn anything you didn't previously know about dementia while reading this novel?

Thanks for the book title, maribethr; I will definitely check it out. I knew personally of two early onset cases. One ( a local minister) institutionalized at 43; another acquaintance at 44 - so Anna's age did not seem unreasonable to me. I was relieved she did not have children of her own (knowing the devastation those families went through.) After all, it was the accident with beloved nephew Ethan that caused Anna to enter Rosalind House.


Posted Mar. 05, 2016 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
scottishrose

Join Date: 07/24/11

Posts: 38

RE: Did you learn anything you didn't previously know about dementia while reading this novel?

i have read a lot about Alzheimer's having a friend whose husband had the disease. The two things I learned that I didn't know before were about the type of dementia that Luke had. Never heard of it. And the stuff about depth perception. That also has not really come up in my reading. Most of the other stuff was familiar. And there are tests out there you can take to judge your susceptibility to early onset Alzheimer's. I have taken one and was happy to learn that I am not a strong candidate for the disease.


Posted Mar. 06, 2016 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
rebeccak

Join Date: 05/26/12

Posts: 39

RE: Did you learn anything you didn't previously know about dementia while reading this novel?

I sort of already knew that dementia isn't just a straight line down from awareness to complete confusion and memory loss, but the book illustrated more that it's more of a curvy line that goes up and down. Some days are more lucid than others. What really touched me was the scene at the doctor's office when Jack stated how frustrated he was because he felt like Anna was a completely different person, and Anna responded by saying she was still the same person, it just took her longer to follow conversations and access her memories. That scene was very heartbreaking for me.


Posted Mar. 06, 2016 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
GinH

Join Date: 06/17/13

Posts: 25

RE: Did you learn anything you didn't previously know about dementia while reading this novel?

I didn't realize that Alzheimer's could happen to someone so young.


Posted Mar. 06, 2016 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
GinH

Join Date: 06/17/13

Posts: 25

RE: Did you learn anything you didn't previously know about dementia while reading this novel?

I didn't realize that Alzheimer's could happen to someone so young.


Posted Mar. 06, 2016 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
barbaraf

Join Date: 05/27/13

Posts: 6

RE: Did you learn anything you didn't previously know about dementia while reading this novel?

i had not read of it happening at such a young age. I knew there was a condition called early onset. It reminded me of Still Alice...Alice was young but not as young as Anna.

I had never read about Luke's condition.


Posted Mar. 07, 2016 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
dawnc

Join Date: 09/19/11

Posts: 9

RE: Did you learn anything you didn't previously know about dementia while reading this novel?

Wow, I knew a little about dementia, this made me see it through the eyes of someone having to live it.


Posted Mar. 09, 2016 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
Retired Reader, NE

Join Date: 09/16/11

Posts: 165

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RE: Did you learn anything you didn't previously know about dementia while reading this novel?

I learned that each case of dementia follows its own course.


Posted Mar. 09, 2016 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
Windsong

Join Date: 05/07/13

Posts: 70

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RE: Did you learn anything you didn't previously know about dementia while reading this novel?

I agree with Ritaq. To not be able to create the memories that we lose as we age is a horrible thought. I am adding also that to create the memory of the illness for our survivors is a sad thought for me. I really did not ever think of the philosophy of the caretakers in the facilities for those with Alzheimers. Is a simply a job or are there a lot of Rosies who work in these facilities?


Posted Mar. 12, 2016 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
amandap

Join Date: 03/12/16

Posts: 12

RE: Did you learn anything you didn't previously know about dementia while reading this novel?

I didn't realize that there were different types. I also did not realize there was so much awareness of what you forget. I can't imagine forgetting what types of clothes to wear in certain weather, but the frustration of being aware that I not only forgot what to wear but having to even guess where my clothes are located to even try to figure it out. I guess that we always think about not remembering family or friends and memories associated with each. What about forgetting basic things like what is a window, what does it do, what is it even called. For instance, long table thing for sitting is a couch. I can't imagine forgetting the word couch and putting the object with the name.


Posted Mar. 18, 2016 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
rhondam

Join Date: 04/21/11

Posts: 3

RE: Did you learn anything you didn't previously know about dementia while reading this novel?

Yes we read about dementia but I've never read a book that actually made you feel the frustration of a person going through it. And at such a young age. Speaking through her voice you actually felt like what it was like as she went through the stages of it


Posted Mar. 20, 2016 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
louisee

Join Date: 06/29/15

Posts: 67

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RE: Did you learn anything you didn't previously know about dementia while reading this novel?

I also didn't know that dementia could start at such a young age, the type of dementia that Luke had, and that some people with dementia had a problem with depth perception. My dad had dementia but he was in his early 70's and didn't have the depth perception problem.


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