As soon as we saw a preview Irene Mackay’s 2018 calendar to raise awareness for Dementia, we fell in love. The illustrations of The Forgetful Elephant are captivating and all ages love them. Her books have been so helpful and of course we loved the ideas behind the calendar.
We asked Irene to explain. Here’s what she says:
When we are caring for someone who has dementia, be it a relative, friend or in a care facility, it is very important to recognise what they can still do. Whilst caring for my Mum, who had Vascular Dementia, and in my role as a Home Support Worker, I soon came to realise the importance of this.
When Seniors Helping Seniors asked me to write about the ideas behind my 2018 calendar, I was happy to help because enabling the elderly, as opposed to nursing, is their purpose. Carers who are close in age to the person they care for have all the time they need to help and encourage their clients.
By allowing people to do tasks for themselves they are useful and a part of things. It is all too easy to try and take over and to make the day to day easier and quicker. By doing this you are taking away independence which may encourage feelings like worthlessness and isolation.
Exercise is also important for someone who has dementia, both mentally and physically. If someone is no longer able to walk unassisted, walk with them. Take them out for a walk in the garden or to the park for stimulation. Connect with nature as often as possible.
These days in our society, we seem to be in such a rush to get things done so quickly. When caring for someone who has dementia, you simply can’t be like that. You have to slow down and have a little patience and understanding of the person you are caring for. Take the time to listen to what they are trying to ask or say to you.
My new resource which will be available at the end of June, is a 2018 Calendar to remind everyone not to take away the independence of someone who has dementia and help them to function independently for as long as possible.
My Calendar is full colour and has 6 pages, 2 months to a page. It follows my book The Forgetful Elephant which was published to help children understand dementia.
Each page of the calendar has wording to remind us what someone with dementia may still be able to do and a beautiful colour illustration.
The calendar now has its own page on my website where you can pre-order copies.
Raising awareness of dementia is something that is very close to my heart, and whilst my campaign is to raise children’s awareness of the disease, next year I want to make everyone more aware. It is my hope that as many people as possible will join me in doing so.
Author of “The Forgetful Elephant” book and “Getting To Know You” booklet
Pre order your calendars here