Trailblazing Teen Researcher
Wins Accolades for Best-Seller
Tender Book Teaches Children
about Alzheimer’s Disease
July 18, 2013, Boston, MA– At age five, Max Wallack learned to cope with his great-grandmother’s Alzheimer’s symptoms. Forgetfulness was the least of her problems: Max experienced her fears, episodes of irrational behavior, incontinence – even escape attempts. But Wallack didn’t just cope. He devoted himself to easing her suffering. By second grade, he had invented adaptive equipment to help her with mobility, and at age 12 he founded www.PuzzlesToRemember.org, a non-profit charity that distributes therapeutic puzzles at no cost to Alzheimer’s facilities worldwide.
Wallack continues to dedicate his life to improving the lives of those with Alzheimer’s, but his heart has longed to calm the fears of the disease’s youngest caregivers, like the one he once was, himself. With this goal in mind, the 17-year-old college junior reached out to his teacher and mentor, Carolyn Given, to co-author a book uniquely aimed at teaching caregiving and coping strategies to children. The result is a tender, poignant story of hope, love, and learning as seven year-old Julie navigates increasing lapses in Grandma’s behavior.
Amazon’s #3 best-selling children’s book throughout its June 29 release week (and currently a Top 100 best-seller), Why Did Grandma Put Her Underwear in the Refrigerator? shares easy-to-understand explanations of what happens inside the brains of Alzheimer’s patients and how to cope with memory loss, a missed holiday, or even a missing Grandma! This 40-page, fully illustrated children’s book lovingly shares strategies, scientific insights, and lessons of dignity to which children and adults can both relate, and from which caregivers of any age may richly benefit.
As is Max’s way, the bulk of all proceeds will benefit multiple Alzheimer’s causes.
Why Did Grandma Put Her Underwear In The Refrigerator? provides insight into what families around the world deal with on a day-to-day basis. Max’s easy-to-understand presentation makes it perfect to help teach children about Alzheimer’s disease.
— Lori La Bey, CEO of Alzheimer’s Speaks
You should buy this book for any child who has a relative facing Alzheimer’s Disease…. This book is an incredible inspiration. Thank you Max Wallack for sharing from your heart.
— Cheryl Greene, co-founder, Dr. Greene.com
Why Did Grandma Put Her Underwear in the Refrigerator? should be required reading for every person that teaches, guides, or interacts directly with children (worldwide).
— Bob DeMarco, founder, Alzheimer’s Reading Room
Why Did Grandma Put Her Underwear in the Refrigerator?
By Max Wallack and Carolyn Given
Max Wallack is a 17 year old junior at Boston University as well as a researcher in the Molecular Psychiatry in Aging Laboratory at Boston University School of Medicine. Max was a caregiver to his great grandmother who had Alzheimer’s disease. In 2008, he founded http://www.PuzzlesToRemember.org, a 501(c)3 organization that has supplied more than 23,000 puzzles to Alzheimer’s facilities around the world. A member of the American Association for Geriatric Psychiatry, Max gives research presentations at national conferences and publishes articles in respected scientific journals. He has received numerous national awards for his work on behalf of Alzheimer’s patients, including the Diller Teen Tikkun Olam Award and the President’s Call to Service Medal. Max plans to become a geriatric psychiatrist, working with Alzheimer’s patients and their caregivers.
Carolyn Given is an experienced caregiver herself and an acclaimed middle and high school educator with particular interest in intergenerational programming. Prior to her teaching career, she served as her town’s Council on Aging Director and later became cover-story writer and editor of The Senior Advocate (now called the Fifty Plus Advocate Newspaper), a Massachusetts-based mature market publication. Most recently she was the recipient of an award from the Soul-Making Keats Literary Competition sponsored by the National League of American Pen Women. Wallack and Given have created a book that is a necessity for the 35.6 million families worldwide currently touched by this incurable disease.
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