‘My Grandma Has Dementia’ is a new children’s book to help adults explain the impact of dementia on family members.
Children can often be left feeling confused and anxious as dementia progresses and a favourite family member starts behaving differently.
The book is beautifully illustrated in full colour throughout and the story is told in rhyme to appeal to children aged 4 to 10 years of age. It is available on Amazon for £7.99, where it is receiving positive reviews. Donations from book sales will support the work of Happy Smiles Training CIC. and some books will be given to the Alzheimer’s Society to help with their work.
‘My Grandma Has Dementia’ was written by Alex Winstanley who went through the experience himself. Whilst growing up, Alex often wondered why his grandma would frequently forget aspects of her day or constantly repeat herself. Seeing his mum provide continuous care for his grandma was often stressful and worrying too.
My grandma, Mary Perry, passed away just before Christmas and this book is dedicated to her. This is her legacy in the fight against dementia. With someone developing dementia every three minutes in the UK, I strongly believe that it is more important than ever for children and young people to understand the impact of dementia on their loved ones.
The book was funded through a successful crowdfunding campaign and has sold copies around the world and has received acclaim from dementia specialists.
Dr Kellyn Lee, a Psychologist and Research Fellow in Ageing and Dementia at the University of Southampton describes the book as:
A clever, positive and gentle way of introducing dementia to children.
Whilst Dr Jane Mullins, Author of ‘Finding the Light in Dementia’, said the book is:
Absolutely beautifully written, with such sensitivity and understanding.
This book is the first in a planned series to enable families to start a conversation at home about the impact of long-term health conditions. The series will include books explaining depression and cancer to children.
Alex, a social entrepreneur and author of the series said:
The aim is to start a conversation with children about how long-term health conditions can impact their family members. I hope to reduce the anxieties children may have and help them to understand what is happening. Sometimes children also want to know what they can do to help, so this is a chance to talk about that too.
The positive impact doesn’t stop there. Alex now plans to use the book for an intergenerational reading project between schools and care homes, through his social enterprise, Happy Smiles Training CIC. The project will be led by a team of disabled young adults, with the aim of reducing social isolation for care home residents and supporting the reading and speaking skills of children in schools.
In the meantime, Alex has ambitions to see a copy of ‘My Grandma Has Dementia’ in every primary school and care home in the UK.
Photo: Alex Winstanley at a live reading online.