Granny Can’t Remember Me

A Children’s Book About Alzheimer’s

Granny Can’t Remember Me is a lighthearted picture book about Alzheimer’s disease and dementia told from the perspective of a six-year-old boy, appropriate for preschool and early elementary school children, ages 3 – 8. Granny can’t remember that Joey likes soccer and rockets and dogs. Granny can’t remember much of anything. But with Granny’s stories of her Three Best Days, Joey knows she loves him just the same.

Alzheimer’s disease is more and more common, and many young children experience this sometimes scary and sad family situation.   Granny Can’t Remember Me shows a boy’s acceptance and love for his grandmother despite this unfortunate illness.

Testimonials

“Alzheimer disease does not diminish the powerful relationships between grandparents and grandchildren. Granny Can’t Remember Me reminds children and adults of how important this is.”

– Peter V. Rabins, MD, MPH, first holder of the Richman Family Professorship for Alzheimer’s and Related Diseases at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and co-author of The 36-Hour Day.

 

About Alzheimer’s Disease

Alzheimer’s disease is a brain disorder which largely affects older adults and is the most common cause of memory loss and dementia. There are other kinds of memory loss as well, and all lead to confusion, disorientation and frustration. Dementia affects not only memory, but also thinking and behavior. Short term memory loss occurs initially, allowing the person with Alzheimer’s to remember events and people from the past much more easily than recent experiences. Symptoms slowly worsen over time.

The cause of Alzheimer’s disease is currently unknown. Over 5 million Americans have Alzheimer’s disease, and that number will grow quickly as the population ages. Worldwide, 5-7 percent of people over the age of 60 have dementia. Alzheimer’s disease is the 6th leading cause of death in the United States.

Currently there is no cure for Alzheimer’s disease, but treatment can slow the progression of symptoms. There are many ways to lessen the anxiety of the person with Alzheimer’s disease. Avoid asking questions, as even simple questions like what someone had for lunch can provoke confusion and worry when they cannot remember. Instead, say, “It looks like you had macaroni and cheese for lunch. I like macaroni and cheese.” Avoid corrections or argument, instead go along with the person whatever their current reality. If they say they need to wait for Jim to arrive before eating, and Jim moved away years ago, say, “He called and said he would be late and for us to start without him.”

Tips on caring for someone with Alzheimer’s can be found at these websites:

Alzheimer’s Association

Alzheimer’s Foundation of America


Read my guest blog post on bringing my mother to Seattle, written for the Alzheimer’s Association, Washington State Chapter:

Granny Can’t Remember Me

Recommended books about Alzheimer’s Disease:

A Loving Approach to Dementia Care by Laura Wayman

Contented Dementia by Oliver James

About the Author

Susan McCormick is a doctor who lives in Seattle. She graduated from Smith College and George Washington University School of Medicine, with additional medical training in San Francisco and Washington, DC. She served as a doctor for 9 years in the US Army before moving to the Pacific Northwest. She is married and has two boys, plus a giant Newfoundland dog. Her mother and father-in-law had Alzheimer’s disease.

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