Alzheimer Europe Conference,
Glasgow 20-22 October 2014
Alzheimer Europe has contacted me to say that my abstract Campaign to Raise Dementia Awareness in Primary Schools has been accepted as a Poster Presentation for their 24th Conference in Glasgow this year.
The Conference will take place in The Crowne Plaza Hotel on Monday 20th, Tuesday 21st and Wednesday 22nd October. It feels wonderful to see my name in the programme of such an important event and I look forward to being a part of it.
24th Alzheimer Europe Conference
“Autonomy and Dignity in Dementia”
Glasgow, Scotland, UK (20-22 October 2014)
The text of my abstract is below:
Campaign to raise Dementia Awareness in Primary Schools
I believe that Dementia Awareness should be included in Primary School programmes. Explaining dementia in a straightforward way to young children reduces the fear, misunderstanding, confusion and stigma surrounding it. Increasing numbers of young children live in families touched by dementia, whether in grandparents, parents or siblings. This can disrupt their behaviour; an added stress in the family when resources are focused on caring for the person with dementia.
My book The Forgetful Elephant is a beautifully-illustrated story, explaining memory loss in a respectful way that very young children can understand through the main character, Ellie the Elephant. Unlike many children’s books on the subject it avoids ridicule. It suggests practical ways for children to maintain a relationship with the person with dementia. It is suitable for children under 9; 3-year-olds can relate to the story, but in my experience children aged 6-7 have more questions and understanding, and are more likely to go home and discuss dementia with their families and friends, thereby further raising community awareness.
I visit primary schools and present Ellie Sessions: special events telling The Forgetful Elephant story interactively using puppets and soft toys, with an opportunity for questions. I offer ongoing support for children, teachers and families through my website https://www.irenemackay.com and my social media community, giving practical advice, articles, events, links and resources to improve the quality of life for those living with dementia.
I am passionate about raising children’s awareness of dementia. I live in Falkirk, Scotland and trained as a professional Home Care Worker with Alzheimer Scotland. About 5 years ago my Mum, now in a Care Home, was diagnosed with Vascular Dementia.
Raising Primary School children’s awareness of dementia in the community provides relief to families, and improves the quality of life for persons with dementia, their carers and families.