Telling your children that a grandparent or someone else they love has been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s is never easy. If you aren’t sure how to broach the topic to young kids who may not understand the disease, you may be tempted to put the conversation off. However, helping your children understand what’s happening will help them cope with the progression of your loved one’s illness.
Talking to Kids About Alzheimer’s
How Your Children Might React
If your family member is in the early stages, young children may not have noticed a change in behavior yet. In some cases, they might be confused about what Alzheimer’s is, or simply curious about what it means for the future.
Some children may be sad or upset, especially if your loved one has already exhibited symptoms. Your kids may also worry about developing Alzheimer’s themselves, or someone else in your family getting the disease. However they react, it’s important to let them know that their feelings are normal and be prepared to answer their questions.
How to Deliver the News
Your kids will likely have their own questions about Alzheimer’s, so be prepared to give simple, honest, age-appropriate answers. They might wonder how people get the disease, and whether their beloved family member will get better.
Be prepared to explain how Alzheimer’s affects a person’s memory, and that your children may start to notice your family member acting differently. Being open about your own sadness and frustration will also encourage your children to talk about their feelings.
Helping Kids Cope With Alzheimer’s
As the condition progresses, your kids may get upset that the person they know and love is changing. They might also be resentful about how the disease has affected their own lives, especially if your family member is living with you.
Let your kids know they can still talk to their loved one, and continue participating in activities together. You should also avoid appointing your kids as caretakers of their aging family members, as this makes a difficult situation even more stressful.
The caring staff of Sally’s Place understands that caretakers of people with Alzheimer’s need a break once in a while, which is why they’re committed to providing the best adult day care services in Swanzey, NH. They’re the only facility open on the weekends, allowing you to unwind and relax, knowing that your loved ones are enjoying a fun environment staffed by compassionate, friendly professionals. Visit their website, or call (603) 338-0073 to schedule a tour today.