But Then Something Happened: A Story of Everyday Dementia bookcover

But Then Something Happened: A Story of Everyday Dementia

Chris Carling

When dementia hits a family they embark on an emotional journey. Destination unknown. ‘BUT THEN SOMETHING HAPPENED: A Story of Everyday Dementia’ takes us on that emotional journey. Mum, Dad and two very grown up kids. An ordinary family hit hard by dementia. Mum and Dad both fall victim. Different kinds of dementia. Alzheimer’s and vascular dementia. Different effects. Daughter, Chris, tells the story, falling into the role of the responsible adult in the family, everyone muddling along in a state of denial until one day ‘something happens’: a series of crises that lay bare the reality that both parents are losing their minds. How Mum and Dad become Mary and Fred, a couple nearing the end of a long love story. How feelings survive even as minds fail. How Chris takes on the role of go-between to help Mary and Fred sustain their marriage. How a love story can continue even in the Dementia Unit of a residential home. Even to the day Mary and Fred celebrate their Platinum Wedding Anniversary. Warm, intimate, honest and intensely human: depicting dementia not as a tragedy but as a phase of life lived by both sufferers and carers.
Laughter as well as tears as the disease plays out day-to-day. One highly original chapter includes ‘Ten scenes of joy and sadness’ written as mini-dramas to illustrate how emotions can remain intact as dementia takes its course. The memoir is in two parts. In part One Chris tells the dramatic family story while Part Two is more reflective, a chance to stand back and ask questions such as why did we not see all this coming? The final chapter ‘Learning from dementia: losses and (a few) gains’ gives a lay person’s experience of dementia in rich detail. Readers’ comments include: ‘Highly moving’; ‘Written with great compassion and insight’; ‘I could completely identify. It helped me a lot’.

The Reading Agency

Join our mailing list

Get our newsletters to stay up to date with programme news, resources, news and more.

Back to Top