Irene Mackay trained as a professional Home Support Worker with Alzheimer Scotland when her Mum was diagnosed with Vascular Dementia.

irene mackay

Irene Mackay: Raising Children’s Awareness of Dementia

She is the author of the popular book for young children: The Forgetful Elephant.

Having first-hand experience of this life-changing condition, I am passionate about raising awareness of memory loss. It can be difficult to explain to a small child what is happening to a grandparent, parent or sibling. This book shows how even the very young can maintain relationships with a loved one who has dementia.

Ellie Sessions with Irene Mackay

Irene delivers Ellie Sessions for children and adults. They take the form of interactive storytelling events based around The Forgetful Elephant, held in schools and other locations in the community.

Children ask the most amazing questions! They deserve to know the truth, to remove the confusion, mystery, and fear associated with dementia. My mission is to help families cope at this difficult time. I hope The Forgetful Elephant will improve the quality of life for those living with dementia.

Click Here for The Forgetful Elephant in paperback and eBook

Conferences and Links

As well as her writing and delivering Ellie sessions, Irene Mackay also attends dementia conferences. She presented for two days at the Alzheimer Europe Conference in Glasgow. Irene regularly presents to Rotary Clubs and to organisations such as Derry Engaging and Empowering Dementia. She has close links with Ulster Guides, who have adopted The Forgetful Elephant as a route to earning a badge. Through her website and Newsletters Irene keeps subscribers up to date with her activities. Her regular interviews and book reviews help to draw together dementia workers worldwide. One contact, Sébastien Fages has published  The Forgetful Elephant in French. In addition, Irene has received offers to translate the story into Norwegian, Italian and Czech.

Getting To Know You

Irene wrote the Getting To Know You activity booklet to encourage children to interact with  their elders, and to record their memories. Children of any age can quickly and easily record an older loved one’s memories by answering the thoughtful selection of key questions in the booklet. See the Getting To Know You Activity Booklet


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