Journalist Emily Jade interviewed me on my children’s book Harry Helps Grandpa Remember. She highlights how reading “Harry” to children will not only help Remembering Dementia but create a special bond and understanding between child, parent and grandparent … And help spread coping skills and tips on prevention, to reduce our risk.
“Endearingly told and full of hope and humour, new children’s book Harry Helps Grandpa Remember provides a gentle introduction for children into the world of Alzheimer’s and Dementia.
Karen Tyrrell is an award-winning Brisbane author and teacher, and her new children’s picture book Harry Helps Grandpa Remember is aimed at raising community awareness of Dementia, Alzheimer’s and memory loss, and the effect it has on everyone involved.
“The story begins with Harry and Grandpa playing hide-and-seek together. Over time Grandpa changes, becoming grumpy and forgetful, finally refusing to play games with Harry. It’s a story many families know well with Jade having a personal interest at heart.”
Emily Jade interviews me, Karen Tyrrell on Dementia …
Q: What inspired Harry Helps Grandpa Remember?
A: My father has memory loss and my father-in-law has Alzheimer’s so I wanted to write a book to raise awareness for the illness but help children understand and cope. I wanted to show how humour and compassion to help our grandparents through these tough times.
Q: How did you cope initially with Remembering Dementia?
A: I have a network of family members helping. We gave them (the Grandfathers) a special gift, a portable white board and diaries so they could write down reminders about what is special about their day, visitors they might be getting and things they need to remember.
Q: Do you think young children really understand?
A: Children realise they have changed; they need to understand that Grandma and Grandpa need routine. The children may need to wear name-tags, or to say, “Hi Grandpa, my name is…” Grandma/ Grandpa may not remember them, but it helps. The key is to spend time with them. Take a pet for pet therapy, something to make them bond with the grandparent.
Take photos, and look at photos from long ago, just to continue sharing and seeing and spending time with them even though they have changed and are different. Most importantly to be in the NOW with them and not worry about what it might be like in 6 months-time, enjoy the NOW.
It is a FREE event and includes children’s activities. Ring 3412 4140 to RSVP a seat.
13 June 9-12am: Mary Ryan, Milton, Brisbane
18 June 11-1pm: Angus & Robertson Post Office Square, Brisbane
27 June 11-1pm: Dymocks Westfield Garden City
28 June 11-1pm: Dymocks Westfield Carindale