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Caroline Hyland - All proceeds from her book ‘Can You See What I See?’ will go to Living Well With Dementia. Caroline Hyland - All proceeds from her book ‘Can You See What I See?’ will go to Living Well With Dementia.


Limerick Author Caroline Hyland writes insightful book about dementia



Caroline Hyland – All proceeds from her book ‘Can You See What I See?’ will go to Living Well With Dementia.


Limerick Author Caroline Hyland writes insightful book about dementia


By I Love Limerick Correspondent Tara Byrne

Limerick Author Caroline Hyland has written and illustrated the book ‘Can You See What I See?’, a publication designed to encourage a focus on the individual living with dementia, rather than on dementia itself.

It is inspired by her own experience of learning about dementia, a journey inspired by her grandmother, Kathleen Duhig of Sherins Cross, near Kilmallock and driven by her own fear of the disease. The book has evolved from a visual arts project facilitated by Tallaght University Hospital in 2017, with support and funding from the Adelaide Health Foundation, the Meath Foundation and the National Centre for Arts and Health.

‘Can You See What I See?’ consists of 12 full-colour, hand-painted illustrations with accompanying text. Aiming to inform the person, their family and friends, students, healthcare workers and wider society, the book can be used to open up conversations among all ages and as a training resource in the fields of health and social care. The book can be used to help around 64,000 people in Ireland that are currently living with dementia, and the many thousands more that provide support to loved ones, primarily at home.

Caroline said, “This is a really personal project for me as my grandmother and three of her sisters had dementia. When granny was alive, I didn’t know anything about dementia and I was quite puzzled by it and fearful too. Maybe if I had known more, I might have been able to support my granny a bit better. Over the last number of years, I’ve tried to educate myself and listen to people who have dementia and to the people who also support them and find out what people want, what way do they want to be supported in life to keep on living. I learned a lot and I decided I share my learning using illustration and some texts, so I could share what I was learning with other people and also advocate for people to see the person first and not just a disease. Dementia touches all our lives. It’s really important we all feel informed that there are little things we can all do to help a person remain engaged and living well within their communities. I’m really passionate about this book. I really do believe it can open up conversations and inspire people to see people with dementia as valued members of the communities”.

In his foreword, Professor Desmond O’Neill, Consultant Gerontologist at Tallaght University Hospital, writes, “A picture is truly worth a thousand words and Caroline Hyland has developed a portfolio of beautiful and thought-provoking paintings with accompanying text which are a milestone in harnessing the power of art to better understand how the new world of the “Now” in dementia engages with not only the past but also the present and their relationships with those around them”.

All proceeds from the book will go to Living Well with Dementia (LWwD), an HSE-supported, community project in south Dublin that aims to support people diagnosed with dementia and their families to raise awareness, reduce stigma and promote early diagnosis. LWwD envisages a community that respects, supports, and empowers people with dementia; a community in which people with dementia are socially and culturally valued; a community where people with dementia still actively participate in a safe environment.

About Caroline Hyland

Caroline Hyland is a freelance illustrator and art facilitator. A former Occupational Therapist, Caroline currently works as an art facilitator at the National Centre for Arts and Health, Tallaght University Hospital and as an art mentor in DoubleTAKE, a community arts studio dedicated to developing and supporting people with disabilities to develop their creativity through the arts. She also facilitates art sessions with the Living Well with Dementia project and provides visual supports for people with intellectual disability at advocacy committee meetings. Caroline strongly believes that information can be made more accessible to everyone through the medium of visual art. Caroline has a degree in Visual Communications, a HDip in Art Education and a Masters in Occupational Therapy.

To buy a copy of ‘Can you see what I See?’ go HERE 

For more stories about Dementia go HERE 


Richard is a presenter, producer, songwriter and actor. He was named the Limerick Person of the Year (2011) and won an online award at the Metro Éireann Media and Multicultural Awards (2011) for promoting multi-culturalism online. Richard says that the concept is very much a community driven project that aims to document life in Limerick. So, that in 20 years time people can look back and remember the events that were making the headlines.