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Novel to be prescribed to dementia patients

Novel to be prescribed to dementia patients
2nd February 2015

A book that has been adapted into a Hollywood blockbuster is to be included in a reading list for dementia patients.

Still Alice, written by Lisa Genova and published in 2007, tells the tale of an academic woman who develops the early stages of Alzheimer's.

The novel will now be recommended to patients and carers to try to help them understand more about the disease, under a new initiative for local libraries, reports the Telegraph.

It is a move that has already been backed by government ministers and healthcare professionals, with the aim of offering extra non-medicinal support for those whose lives have been affected by dementia and Alzheimer's.

Some 25 titles are included on the Reading Well Books on Prescription programme, all of which will be made available for free in every public library in the country.

Still Alice made the leap to the silver screen last year, with the lead actress Julianne Moore winning a Golden Globe and Screen Actors Guild award for her portrayal of how dementia affects a patient.

As well as providing insight into what life can be like with the disease through personal accounts, other texts include advice about how symptoms can progress and how to make the most of the time spent battling the illness.

Health minister Norman Lamb has described the initiative as being "fantastic", while it is also supported by the Alzheimer's Society, Dementia UK, Carers UK and the Royal College of General Practitioners.

The Reading Agency-led scheme has organised similar lists in the past, such as its 'mood-busting' selection, which aims to cheer people up with a series of light-hearted novels and poetry.

Other titles on the dementia reading list include Susan Elliot-Wright's When Someone You Love Has Dementia, and The Little Girl in the Radiator: Mum, Alzheimer's and Me by Martin Slevin.

Read more about Barchester's dementia care homes.