A Positive Message from Wendy Laing
Hope you can use this as a post for your website – which is fantastic !
Explaining dementia to young children is a difficult subject, especially when your own emotions are overwhelming you. To try to help your child understand that grampa has a condition and will never be the same person they know and love was not a conversation I was looking forward to having with my 5 year old daughter. However Irene’s delightful book, The Forgetful Elephant was just what I needed. My daughter and I read it and I was able to talk to her on her level and explain that although her grampa may not know her anymore, she will still be able to reach him in other ways and maintain a loving relationship. The book’s content and illustrations are fantastic and it’s a regular night time story now in our house! As a result of the positive message in the book, and through Irene herself, my daughter and I enjoy visits to see grampa who now resides in a nursing home and my daughter looks forward to going to see grampa and his friends with no fear: she copes very well (better than I do!) with the changes in him. The greatest gift for me, is the fact that my daughter can still have a meaningful relationship and lovely memories of her grampa, as he is “just grampa” to her.
Dementia can be frightening, not only for the person who has it, but for their family and friends too, I was amazed to know just how many people are diagnosed each year and how many different types there are. What’s not so readily available is information about dementia, how to access it, and how to help those who have it. Being a carer, Irene does so much to help change this through her book, her website and raising awareness with our younger generation. Please help support her.