Northern Ireland news

Co Antrim woman writes children's book aimed at raising awareness of dementia

The book was published in November last year

A CO Antrim woman who has dealt with the diagnosis of dementia has written a book for children aimed at raising awareness of the condition.

Anne Scott from Newtownabbey was just 46 when she diagnosed with vascular dementia in 2015.

She soon became aware of the lack of understanding around the illness, particularly as she searched for information to share with her daughter Evie, who is now aged 12.

"There was so little information out there, especially for children," she said.

"I wanted to change that so decided to start and write a book that could help children, particularly older children, with learning more about the condition."

The mother-of-five began jotting her ideas down for a book, but around three years ago she was given the news that her condition had changed.

Doctors told her instead she had chronic small vessel disease, when not enough blood goes to the brain, and she was also diagnosed with multiple sclerosis and fibromyalgia.

"It came as a bit of shock, especially after having to come to terms with the original dementia diagnosis," she said.

"I had built my life around the original diagnosis so for it to be changed, I felt very lost and unsure."

But Ms Scott was determined to continue writing the book and raise the profile of dementia amongst older children.

"I hadn't been able to find much for children and anything I did find was for quite young children, I knew there was a real lack of understanding about dementia," she said.

"I wanted to write the book to explain dementia to children, but also wanted adults to read it - I wanted to get the facts into it, but still needed it to be funny and interesting, so the children would want to read it.

"After the book was finished I sent it to a publisher and it was accepted, which was fantastic."

Sizzling Bacon was published in November 2020. It is based on the struggles of a girl called Evie, who finds it hard to move her legs, but has "no way of knowing that her day is going to be full of fun, laughter and magical surprises".

"I tried to make it so that it reflected the point of view of patients as well as those caring for people with dementia," she said.

"It explains the brain and the symptoms of dementia, I wanted to help people understand the condition a bit more, particularly children. I enjoyed writing it and let all my emotions out, I would wake up during the night with an idea and quickly write it down.

"It took me a few years to write, but it gave me a focus and hopefully it will help others, especially children, understand the condition."

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