Online Resource To Help Children Understand Dementia

Interactive materials to help kids better understand when a relative develops dementia have been created by a Teesside Uni team.
Colin Petch
September 2, 2023

‘Grandad Forgot My Name’ evolved from work by academics in Teesside University’s School of Health & Life Sciences to develop research into methods of healthcare support.

They worked with colleagues across the University on the dementia project, which aims to help children to better understand when a grandparent or relative has been diagnosed with dementia.

The online interactive resource offers options to access information depending on whether it’s been accessed with a child; by someone who has a family member with dementia; an individual who themselves has been diagnosed with dementia; or someone simply seeking to learn more about dementia.

The main strand to the online resource, ‘Grandad Forgot My Name’, has interactive functions to personalise the story and help explain to children the impact that dementia might be having on their older relative.

Dr Rhys Williams
Dr Rhys Williams

Project lead, Dr Rhys Williams, Senior Lecturer in Forensic Science in the University’s School of Health & Life Sciences, said: “We are sharing the free resources far and wide, in the local region and across the internet, so that it can be accessed by as many families and individuals as possible who it might help.”

Also involved in the project are Dr Kamar Ameen-Ali, Senior Lecturer in Biomedical Science; Natalie Blake, Lecturer in Games Art; and Alexandra Hoekstra, forensic science student and artist.

Alexandra Hoekstra's Project Artwork
Alexandra Hoekstra's Project Artwork

Dr Williams added: “Our team has come together to produce storylines around key elements of dementia pastoral care. The artwork by Alexandra aimed to make the stories visually appealing and open to all readers. The responses we’ve received so far have been very positive.

“We aim to help provide information and interaction to help bridge that generational gap, developing a resource that is easy for children to access and understand.

“Over 57 million people in the world have dementia. If we can support these and help their families understand dementia better, we will have made a real difference.”

Find out more about ‘Grandad Forgot My Name’ HERE