Luton nurse aims to publish short story to help children understand dementia
A Luton nurse is appealing for the public's help to publish a short story about dementia seen through the eyes of a child.
‘Chasing Rainbows’ has been written by clinical nurse specialist Wendy Freeman to help children understand some of the changes they may face when a loved one is diagnosed with dementia.
Using simple language, the story follows eight-year-old Becca as she learns to cope with the changes in her much-loved granny as she starts to become forgetful and eventually moves into a care home.
Aimed at primary school-aged children, the story also touches on the Covid-19 crisis and the many months families were forced to spend apart to protect the elderly and vulnerable during the pandemic.
Wendy said: “The story has been written from a personal perspective, based on my own childhood memories as well as more recent experience in supporting someone to live well with their dementia.
“Dementia support is something I am very passionate about, particularly working for the Hospice as we care for and support those living with dementia in our community.
"I hope my story, when it becomes a book, can act as a resource for our Isabel families and those we support in our community, as well as a resource in schools and care homes and many other professionals.”
Wendy, who has worked at Isabel Hospice in Welwyn Garden City for 30 years, is the charity’s care home educator. She helps to deliver end of life education and training to staff so they can better meet the needs of their residents.
She also works with children in local schools to help dispel some of the myths surrounding hospices and the care they provide.
She hopes ‘Chasing Rainbows’ will be a positive resource for parents to draw upon to help their little ones understand the changing dynamics when a loved one starts showing the signs of dementia, and help them to process their own feelings.
The book has been illustrated by mental health rehabilitation worker Lisa Panvalkar, the sister of a former colleague Wendy used to work with at Isabel.
She plans to donate a p
ercentage of the proceeds from the sale of the book to the Hospice to help fund its work caring for people facing a life-limiting or terminal condition.
To help Wendy get her book into print, please contact her on 01707 382560 or 07843 218316, or email her at [email protected]