A BESTSELLING author diagnosed with early onset dementia has released a second book to empower those with the diagnosis.

Wendy Mitchell, who lives near Beverley, was diagnosed aged 58, and is now, at age 66, a Sunday Times bestseller of her memoir, ‘Somebody I used to know’, and blogger of ‘Which me am I today?’

Her second book, ‘What I wish people knew about dementia’, is due to be released on January 20, and explains how she and the people she has met manage their dementia to promote a greater understanding of the diagnosis, and encourage those with it to not give up on themselves.

Wendy said: “Symptoms have their commonalities, but people are different - no one has the same journey, and that is the difficulty in understanding dementia.

“People focus on the end stages and use negative language like ‘suffering’, but there is a beginning and a middle stage of dementia and still a life to be lived - my book arms people with that different view.”

Wendy said she fell into a depression when she was first diagnosed at 58, but once she met people 10 years into their diagnosis living their lives, she knew she had to focus on what she could still do.

She explained that people often ask her how she copes, and she puts it down to retaining her independence.

She said: “People give up - when you have dementia there is nothing more comforting than just sitting in a chair with your eyes closed, its wonderful to not have the stimulation and to not have to try – don’t give up, its so bad for you, and don't dwell on what you can’t do anymore.

“We all had talents before diagnosis, you don’t lose them overnight, so continue doing them before dementia takes over. Writing is my escape and a part of my brain that hasn’t been affected.

“Dementia is like a string of fairy lights -some bulbs are switched on, some flicker, and some are off where the dementia has taken over.”

Wendy lives alone, is able to retain her independence by making little adjustments.

“People do things for us to be kind - my daughters used to help me put on my coat - but it prevents us from having self-respect. It doesn’t matter how long it takes to do small tasks, if it takes an hour to put on a coat.

“Technology has enabled me to be independent - Alexa turns on my lights as I used to fall trying to find them, I don’t feel hunger anymore so I set alarms on my phone when to eat.

"I bought coloured plates as I could no longer see white rice on a white plate, I can’t eat with a knife and fork so I use spoons.”

What I Wish People Knew About Dementia, by Wendy Mitchell, is published by Bloomsbury on January 20, priced £14.99.

To pre-order a copy for £11.99 go to mailshop.co.uk/books or call 020 3176 2937 before January 15. Free UK delivery on orders over £20.