Children’s Book on Dementia Launched

September 27, 2012

A Southern Cross staff member’s daily contact with the anguish which dementia causes to families has culminated in the launch today (September 26) of a moving children’s book on the subject.

Sheryl Munday, a nursing home manager, said she was driven to produce the book after witnessing the confusion experienced by children with relatives suffering from Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia.

“I was inspired to write Shining Brightly to help the patients’ grandchildren understand what was happening to their grandparents,” Munday said, following the launch of the book by WA Mental Health Minister Helen Morton at a function to mark Dementia Awareness Week.

“I felt that they needed simple answers to questions like ‘why they have become forgetful’ and ‘why they are moving into care’.

“It is also important to sensitively inform children about what they can expect as the dementia progresses. I found that a children’s book was the perfect mechanism for this.”

The minister, speaking at the book launch at a function in Perth, said Shining Brightly would be a great resource in increasing understanding of dementia.

“I was absolutely captivated by it,” she said.

“It is fantastic!

“What’s most important is that it is written in a way that children can respond – to help them to understand the unusual behaviours of someone with dementia.”

Shining Brightly, which Munday both wrote and illustrated, relates the devastating progression of Alzheimer’s in an elderly woman through the eyes of her young granddaughter.

“It was with great happiness that I read Sheryl Munday’s book, Shining Brightly, which demonstrates how the simple love of a family can bring warmth to the cold reality of dementia, and how the lives of its victims should be celebrated rather than simply mourned before their passing,” said Southern Cross chairman John Bryant, whose organisation arranged publication of the book.

“While dementia is, for now, at least, irreversible, Shining Brightly shows us all that the love and joy in our families need not be diminished by dementia, and that while the condition might shift the goalposts, it doesn’t end the game,” he added, in a speech at the launch.

Alzheimer’s Australia chief executive officer Glenn Rees said: “The greatest enemy of people living with dementia is that their closest family and friends have limited or no understanding of dementia and the possibilities of communicating or relating to them in a way they would with any other person they love.

“This tender and moving book captures the difference love, patience and understanding can make, most importantly from the perspective of children,” he added, in a foreword to Shining Brightly.

“They have much to teach grown ups.”

There were 24,000 Western Australians suffering from dementia last year, according to Alzheimer’s Australia WA, and that number was expected to increase to 36,500 by 2020, and 69,000 by 2050.

The book is available from this website and selected bookshops.

Dementia Awareness Week activities are being coordinated by Alzheimer’s WA, and more information is available at

Jeremiah Donovan House residents impart wisdom after receiving the COVID-19 vaccine

March 12, 2021

Victoria Park Nursing Home Residents are treated like family

November 18, 2020

SCC celebrates National Volunteer Week

May 25, 2020

Stay healthy this summer

January 10, 2020

SCC staff shine at WA Mental Health Awards

December 20, 2019

Easy Christmas Pudding

December 17, 2019

SCC celebrates volunteers’ contributions

December 16, 2019

Alma’s holiday dream comes true

October 25, 2019

Health and Wellness events encourage residents to live and age well

October 11, 2019

Living with dementia series: what dementia feels like

September 26, 2019

Dementia services team – delivering the very best in dementia care

September 17, 2019

What is dementia?

September 3, 2019

Building our workforce for the future

August 29, 2019

How do I get started with residential care?

June 20, 2019

The sky’s the limit for aviation enthusiast Arthur

June 13, 2019

Southern Cross Care recognised by Water Corp for commitment to reducing water waste

May 3, 2019

You are what you eat – healthy recipes for seniors

March 21, 2019

Living with rheumatoid arthritis

March 20, 2019

Get your well-deserved break from caring for an elderly person with cancer

February 13, 2019

Strength training for seniors

January 30, 2019

Celebrating Christmas with dementia

December 20, 2018

Celebrating our volunteers

December 18, 2018

Melinda shares her experience of her aunt’s stay at Margaret Hubery House

October 30, 2018

Lionel’s sidecar adventure

October 30, 2018

Living well with Arthritis

October 12, 2018

Safe Space Art Exhibition

October 11, 2018

Frank Prendergast House hosts annual art exhibition

October 4, 2018

Success Retirement Village residents to benefit from new on-site Health and Wellness Clinic

September 26, 2018

SCC launches new real estate business

September 21, 2018

Transcending dementia through love and support

September 13, 2018