1997-1999: Children's book
When someone is suffering from dementia, the whole family is affected. It can be difficult for everyone, but particularly for children who do not always understand what is going on. In 1999, Alzheimer Europe (in collaboration with the Association Luxembourg Alzheimer) produced a book aimed at helping children understand more about Alzheimer’s disease and possibly come to terms with it. The book is aimed at children between the age of 8 and 11 and is suitable for those who have a relative with dementia, as well as those who do not.
Participants from eight of our member associations were involved in the project:
- France: Association France Alzheimer
- Greece: Greek Alzheimer Association
- Iceland: F.A.A.S.
- Luxembourg: Association Luxembourg Alzheimer
- Portugal: APFADA
- Switzerland: Association Alzheimer Suisse
- The Netherlands: Alzheimerstichting
- United Kingdom: Alzheimer Scotland-Action on Dementia
Funding and duration
The European Commission granted the necessary funds for the “Alzheimer Children’s Book Project” to the Association Luxembourg Alzheimer. Alzheimer Europe worked in close cooperation with the Association Luxembourg Alzheimer on this project which started in December 1997 and finished in June 1999.
The main aims of this project were to produce a book about Alzheimer's disease which would provide children with basic information about Alzheimer's disease (though the story), answer some of the questions they may have, remove some of the stigma associated with having a relative with Alzheimer's disease and provide a tool for the topic to be discussed in schools, at home and amongst friends.
Moreover, it was our aim to write a book which would be directly accessible to a young audience rather than the parents of children with a relative with dementia.
The first stage of this project involved collecting copies of existing information in order to analyse its content, produce a summary and compile an inventory. Before starting to write the story, Alzheimer Luxembourg Association, in close collaboration with Alzheimer Europe, organised interviews with young children in order to assess their real needs with regard to information about Alzheimer's disease and their preferences concerning the style of the book. These interviews enabled us to analyse the language used by young children in order to write a story in a style which was understandable and adapted to the needs of the target group.
Finally, two meetings were held with the project participants in Luxembourg. These meetings enabled the participants to define guidelines for the book, the overall structure of the story, the audience, the specific aspects of the disease to be dealt with, the characters, the setting, the style and the kind of illustrations to be included etc. and later to agree on the actual text and overall presentation.
The children's book was written in French and then translated into all the official languages of the European Union.
The children’s book, which is called “Chère Mamie” in the original version, is available in French, German, Italian, Greek, Flemish and Danish and can be obtained from Alzheimer Europe or its member associations in the respective countries.
Last Updated: Wednesday 25 April 2012