Glen Campbell Featured in Newsletter 6

Irene Mackay’s 6th Elliegrams Newsletter

October 2014
Raising Children’s Awareness of Dementia







Welcome to my Elliegrams Newsletter, named after Ellie, the main character in my book The Forgetful Elephant.

In these monthly newsletters I will share information and insights from around the world, to help us all cope better with living with dementia.


At the beginning of September I visited two lovely, small community Primary Schools. At Balbeggie, near Perth, Scotland, I read my book to the children of Primary 3 and Primary 4. They loved the story and my new little hand-puppets, and they asked some amazing questions during my question-and-answer session. Is dementia painful? Would you feel scared if you had it? Why can you remember things from years ago, but not something that happened 5 minutes ago? The one that amazed me most was from a little girl who asked: if a woman with dementia is pregnant, will the baby be born with dementia?
This just goes to show what is going through the minds of small children, and why it is so important to make them aware of dementia, and answer their questions. This term the school has become involved in a project where Primary 3 and Primary 4 children learn about dementia. As well as the Ellie Session they had with me, there will be regular class discussions and activities to help them understand dementia. In one activity, each pupil makes a memory box and fills it with things that are important and memorable for them. This will help them to understand how important memory is, and how helpful it would be for someone with dementia to have such a memory aid.

I hope that more and more schools will be involved in similar projects in the near future, so that all children can be made aware of dementia, and learn different ways to help friends or relatives with this condition.

What do you think?

Please leave your comments below.
























Glen Travis Campbell was born on 22nd April 1936 on a family farm in Arkansas. He is best known for a series of hits in the 1960s and 1970s. He was the seventh of 12 children of a sharecropper of Scottish descent. He started playing guitar as a youth without learning to read music, and credits his uncle Boo for teaching him the instrument. During 50 years in show business, Campbell has released more than 70 albums, sold 45 million records and achieved 12 Gold, 4 Platinum and 1 Double-Platinum album.Campbell has been married four times and is the father of five sons and three daughters. In 1980-81 he had a very public relationship with the 21 year-old country star Tanya Tucker, which entertained the tabloids for months. Campbell has been married to Kimberly “Kim” Woollen since 1982. Woollen was a Radio City Music Hall “Rockette” when she and Glen met on a blind date in 1981. Their three children, Cal, Shannon and Ashley tour with Campbell as part of his band.In 1962 Campbell signed with Capitol records, and in 1967, his single Gentle on my Mind was an overnight success. By the Time I Get to Phoenix, an even bigger hit, followed. Campbell won 4 Grammy Awards for his performances on these songs. He presented his own weekly television variety show, The Glen Campbell Goodtime Hour, from 1969-1972. He hosted major names in music on his show including the Beatles (on film), David Gates and Bread, the Monkees, Neil Diamond, Linda Ronstadt, Johnny Cash, Merle Haggard, Willie Nelson, Waylon Jennings, Roger Miller and helped launch the careers of Anne Murray, Mel Tillis and Jerry Reed who were regulars on his Goodtime Hour programme.Rhinestone Cowboy was Campbell’s biggest-selling single, with over 2 million copies sold. It continues to be used in film soundtracks and TV shows, including Desperate Housewives. It was the inspiration for a 1984  film with Dolly Parton and Sylvester Stallone. Campbell made a technopop version of the song in 2002 with UK artists Rikki & Daz and went to the top 10 in the UK with the dance version. Campbell was an inspiration to Keith Urban, who cites Campbell as a strong influence on his performing career.Glen Campbell was first diagnosed with Alzheimer’s in 2011. He and his wife Kim announced the news in an interview with People, partly to prepare fans in case he forgot lyrics or became confused during live performances. “I still love making music,” he told the magazine. “And I still love performing for my fans.” And the singer didn’t slacken the pace, embarking on a global Goodbye Tour and releasing two new LPs, Ghost on the Canvas in 2011 and See You There in 2013As his condition progressed Campbell was obliged to cancel 2012 live dates in Australia and New Zealand. The farewell tour was also recoorded for a new documentary, Glen Campbell … I’ll Be Me. The film follows Campbell and his family as they travel, perform and cope with his Alzheimer’s.



Can I Tell You About Dementia
by Jude Welton
See Jude’s book HERE



Sebastien Fages







See my interview with Sebastien HERE












“It is so important as a caregiver not to become so enmeshed in the role that you lose yourself. It’s neither good for you, nor your loved one.”

Dana Reeve



Ellie Sleepover Pack

This month I am delighted to introduce my new Ellie Sleepover Pack. The aim is to support my Ellie Sessions. Schools and other organisations may adopt a little Ellie, and give each child the opportunity to take her home and share the story with family and friends. So far, two schools in the Perth and Kinross area have purchased them and the children are very excited about it. The packs are available through my website. Each pack contains:

Laminated copy of my book The Forgetful Elephant

Ellie soft toy

Pet carrier

Certificate of Adoption

Ellie Memory Helper Notepad to record adventures with Ellie

Ellie Session Guidelines









I feel that that it is most important for young children to understand dementia and memory loss. The Ellie Sleepover Pack reinforces the content, as the child rereads the story and engages family and friends in conversation about it. I will publish a selection of Ellie’s adventures recorded in drawings, writings and photos on my website and social media.


Alzheimer Europe Conference

I am honoured to be selected to present at the Alzheimer Europe conference in Glasgow, 20-22 October 2014. My topic is Campaign to Raise Primary School Children’s Awareness of Dementia (PO109). I look forward to meeting many interesting people from all over the world and to telling you about my experiences there next month.


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














Share and Follow