We got published!!! 💚 The brilliant Dr Maggie Ellis from St Andrews University asked me to illustrate a book that she was writing with Professor Arlene Astell back in February 2017! I jumped at the opportunity to work with them. Mainly cos Maggie is just so lovely… but also because both my grandfathers suffered from dementia before they passed away.
It was heartbreaking not being able to communicate with them anymore. It was like they were gone before they were gone (if that makes sense?).
I could see how tangled their thoughts and minds were becoming and how upsetting it was for them and also for us as their family as we felt powerless to help.
“Effective communication with people with dementia is imperative to good relationships with professional caregivers and family members. This book offers a person-centred approach to assessing the communication skills of people with dementia who are unable to speak, and presents evidence-based methods for effective non-verbal communication.”
The cover is my interpretation of that confusion, that tangle that is dementia. The flowers represent the breakthrough of communication through the use of adaptive interaction techniques and the branches are the journey from ‘normal’ life into the life affected by a person living with dementia.
Back in the days when I was studying and then when working with people my preferred go to was always person-centred and practical. It always felt good to have a tool kit of things that I could use. This book ticks all those boxes, which is so great! Very readable too, which makes it very accessible to families and professionals alike.
Thanks again Maggie and Arlene for such a brilliant opportunity… and Jessica Kingsley Publishers too.
These illustrations help tell the stories of Bert, Eleanor and Chrissie…