Peter Falk Featured in the July 2014 Newsletter
Irene Mackay’s Third Elliegrams Newsletter
July 2014 Raising Children’s Awareness of Dementia
Number 3: July 2014
Welcome to my Elliegrams Newsletter, named after Ellie, the main character in my book The Forgetful Elephant.In this monthly newsletter I will share information and insights from around the world, to help us all cope better with living with dementia.
THOUGHT OF THE MONTH
During my time as a Home Support worker with Alzheimer Scotland I also had the opportunity to be the Support Worker who headed up their weekly Walking Group, a group where people with dementia and their carers could meet and socialise. During the summer months we would go for a leisurely 20 to 30 minute walk around our beautiful local Callendar Park, and afterwards have tea or coffee and a blether in the park’s tearoom.
In the winter months when it was too cold to walk, the group would go Ten Pin Bowling instead, which everyone enjoyed. The group was a huge success, enabling carers to get together, and their partners with dementia to enjoy striking up new relationships, something that was lovely to see.
Wouldn’t it be wonderful if more of these groups could be set up in our communities as a way to help carers and people who have dementia to come together? It is so important for carers to communicate and help each other find ways to cope with what they are going through. But it isn’t always possible to do this, since it may not be possible to leave the person with dementia alone. Being part of such a group makes it possible, and gives the carer some respite and a chance to talk to others, while enjoying an activity with their loved one.
Do you take part in a group like this?
Please leave your comments below.
PETER FALK – AMERICAN ACTOR
Peter Falk will be best-remembered as the star of the long-running TV series Columbo. He played the Detective Lieutenant of the title as a lovable, dishevelled, trench-coated, cigar-chewing character, seemingly absent-minded but in reality sharp-witted, with a distinctive squint (Falk had an artificial right eye, the consequence of retinoblastoma in early childhood). He was born in New York City on 16 September 1927, to Jewish parents who earned a living from a clothing and dry goods store. After high school Falk went to college for a short period, then worked as a cook in the merchant marine. He returned to college later, where study in Syracuse and Wisconsin Universities earned him a master’s degree in public administration. Falk dabbled in acting in his twenties. At the age of 29 he decided to leave public administration to see if he could make a career on the stage. He made his stage debut in 1956, and became a sought-after character actor in film, theatre and television, an Academy Award nominee for his portrayal of a thug in the 1960 film Murder Inc, and a nominee for Best Supporting Actor in 1961.The 1967 film Prescription Murder saw Falk’s first appearance as Lieutenant Columbo (Bing Crosby is said to have turned down the part). The character proved enduringly popular, and Falk portrayed him on television and in television films until 2003, receiving four Emmy awards during this time. Meanwhile, he continued to be in demand for other roles.In April 2008 Falk was photographed by paparazzi in Beverly Hills, dishevelled, confused and frustrated. He claimed his behaviour was due to being unable to remember where he had parked his car. Nevertheless, the media published the images, and rumours of Falk’s dementia spread. He rarely appeared in public after the incident. What a shame that some elements of the media seek the sensational story or image at the expense of the privacy and dignity of the subject.In February 2008 he looked fine, mingling with well-wishers and autograph hunters at the 2008 Winter Hollywood Collector’s Show. It would be his last public appearance.Falk died peacefully at his Beverly Hills home on the evening of 23 June, 2011, aged 83. The cause of death was given as cardiorespiratory arrest, pneumonia and Alzheimer’s. Let’s all do our part to help change the way dementia is portrayed in the media. It’s not sensational and it’s nothing to laugh at.
BOOK OF THE MONTH
The Dementia Diaries
by Matthew Snyman
The Dementia Diaries
INTERVIEW OF THE MONTH
Professor June Andrews – DSDC, Stirling University
Read my interview with June HERE
QUOTE OF THE MONTH
It’s not selfish to love yourself, take care of yourself and to make your happiness a priority. It’s necessary.
This has been a very exciting month for me in lots of ways. Firstly, I have been invited to give a poster presentation at Alzheimer Europe’s Annual Conference which is being held in Glasgow, in The Crown Plaza Hotel over 3 days, 20th, 21st and 22nd October 2014.For me this is a huge opportunity to promote my work. The event will attract people working in the field of dementia from all over the world.The Memory Box NetworkI am also delighted to be helping The Memory Box Network, a charity based in Dundee. I am working with their Primary School Project to help raise awareness about dementia and alleviate the fear and anxiety that young children may feel. We are due to visit Primary Schools after the summer break, to talk to the children about my book.
Visit www.memoryboxnetwork.org to find out more about their services.
I hope the free tips booklet you received when you subscribed to this newsletter was useful to you, or to someone you know who needs some help and support, to help cope with living with dementia.Please share your ideas how we can work together to raise children’s awareness of dementia.I welcome all suggestions and ideas, to help improve quality of life for people with dementia, and their families.Wishing you happy days,Irene Mackay.