Wombat Books Blog

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When memories fade

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by Kelly O'Gara and Anna McNeil

When a loved one’s memory starts to fade it’s hard on every member of the family, but particularly on children. It can be devastating for a child to watch a loving grandparent go from tender caregiver to someone who doesn’t know them.

Do You Remember is a moving picture book that helps children as they go through this difficult time. Beautifully illustrated, it tells the story of a little mouse whose beloved grandparent has good days where she smiles and knows the child to bad days when she doesn’t remember anything.

"Dementia is a condition that has tremendous effect on the whole family and can have a signficant impact on a child's relationship with their grandparent," said Kelly O'Gara, author and illustrator of the book. "I wrote Do You Remember with the help of Anna McNeil, to educate children about the condition and encourage them to continue spending time with their grandparent. The book tries to explain the confusing changes children may notice in behaviour, and introduce simple and beneficial ways of interacting with someone who had dementia.

"This book highlights the importance of love and memory in this situation, to foster positive interaction between loved ones."

Alzheimer's Australian encourages providing opportunities for children or grandchildren to talk openly, ask question and express their feelings about dementia. Children's literature may be a valuable starting point to raise awareness of dementia and how it affects families for young readers.

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