Children’s minds are constantly developing, learning, and absorbing new information. However, if one of their grandparents or another relative is diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, it may be difficult for them to understand how the disease affects their loved one. As you try to explain different aspects of their relative’s condition and Alzheimer’s care, these tips may help.
4 Ways to Help Children Understand Alzheimer's
1. Describe the Disease Honestly
You don’t need to use any complicated medical terminology, but don’t shy away from the reality of the disease. Explain to your child that their loved one has a brain disorder that gradually makes it difficult or impossible for them to remember things and perform simple tasks, which is why they require specialized Alzheimer’s care. Assure your child that the disease is no one’s fault, especially not theirs.
2. Help Them Process Their Feelings
Even knowing that Alzheimer’s is uncontrollable, your child may still take it personally if their grandparent has trouble remembering them or being as affectionate as usual. Let them know that there’s nothing wrong with what they’re feeling. Listen to them vent without applying judgment. Hug them if they allow it, give them space when they ask for it, and help them cope productively with their schoolwork and social needs as they learn to accept their grandparent’s condition.
3. Organize Quality Time
There are still some activities that your child can do while their grandparent is receiving Alzheimer’s care. For example, try baking or cooking, singing, going for walks, reading books, or looking through old scrapbooks or photo albums. Don’t force your child to spend time with their grandparent, but encourage it as a way to maintain their relationship despite the illness.
4. Let Them Help
Although it’s vital to let your child have the space and independence they need for their own healthy development, encourage them to understand and cope by participating in certain aspects of Alzheimer’s care. Simple tasks such as helping with meal prep or guiding their grandparent from one place to another could help your child deal productively with the changes.
With a selection of personalized treatment plans, Visiting Angels in Toms River, NJ, provides caregivers who can offer Alzheimer’s care. As a senior home care service comprised of licensed, insured, and compassionate caregivers, they can tend to the needs of any Alzheimer’s patient in a manner that facilitates independent living. To learn more about their services, call them at (800) 365-4189 or visit them online.