Does Grandma Remember Me? written by Evita Sherman and illustrated by Chayla Bolden is a wonderful book about the connection and love between a granddaughter and her grandmother who has dementia. The story, which is written from the young girl’s perspective takes the reader through how her grandmother has changed because of dementia. For example, she doesn’t smile in the same way, constantly looks for something she is unable to find and often forgets what time it is. At first the young girl is very sad about her grandma and wishes she can fix her dementia. However, in the end she realizes that dementia can’t take away her love for her grandmother and how she makes her feel. That is the true common denominator.
Does Grandma Remember Me? is a story that many people can relate to because dementia is so common and impacts many families. According to WHO (World Health Organization), “around 50 million people have dementia, and there are nearly 10 million new cases every year. Alzheimer’s disease is the most common form of dementia and may contribute to 60–70% of cases. Dementia is one of the major causes of disability and dependency among older people worldwide.” In my perspective, Dementia is also something that can’t be hidden from children. We need to teach and educate our children so we can help our loved ones that have dementia.
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Evita’s passion is assisting the elderly, especially those living with dementia. Her mission is to help people age in the manner they envision for themselves and not through the lens of others. She works to provide data and resources to assist elders in effectively aging-in-place and equips their families and friends to support their loved ones amidst uncertainty. Working in the eldercare field as a licensed nursing home administrator, senior living marketing professional, and Certified Aging-in-Place Specialist (CAPS), Evita witnesses both elders and families make tough decisions. Some of those decisions result in despair, while others result in healing. The key to enabling elders to live life to its fullest is to help them find their voices and exercise their right to choose.
Evita collaborates with family and friends to ensure that her mother, who lives with dementia, and her father, recently diagnosed with mild cognitive impairment, maintain their voices and make well-informed choices as their disease progresses.