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Helping Young Kids Understand Alzheimer’s Disease

By Mark Silvanic, 9:00 am on

Having a parent with Alzheimer’s disease can be confusing to young children. While it may be hard to know how to talk to them about what’s going on, it’s something adult family members will need to face. Young children are perceptive and can sense the strain that adults in the family are under after an Alzheimer’s diagnosis. To avoid further confusion and fallout, providers of in-home care in Colorado Springs recommend the following guidelines when you explain Alzheimer’s to the kids in your family.

Discuss the Disease in Simple Terms

Young children may not notice the same behaviors in their grandparent that you do, but they will know something is different. They will probably notice you are upset and tune into the stress around them. Children may even think you are mad at them or their grandparents, so it’s important to discuss the problem in simple terms. The stress of the situation can be troubling to your child and it will help to let them know what the problem is, even though you will have to explain it in words they can understand.

Prepare the Child for Upcoming Changes

In time the grandparent or senior family member may have trouble remembering your child’s name or exhibit other peculiar behavior that is confusing or embarrassing to your child. Try to prepare them for what to expect without scaring them. Explain that the senior loved one is getting older and is having trouble remembering things like before. Let your child know that while the senior loved one is forgetful, he or she still loves the child very much. Encourage your child to spend time with his or her grandparent and engage in fun activities like arts and crafts so they can make memories together.

Although it is difficult, children want you to explain what is going on. Be patient, even if you have to repeat yourself. As they get older, they may want more details or have different concerns. Open communication is the key to successfully helping your children accept Alzheimer’s disease. Additionally, your family can reach out to local resources like Home Care Assistance to help your family and your loved one adapt to an Alzheimer’s diagnosis. We are a dedicated provider of Alzheimer’s home care Colorado Springs families can trust, whether you need us for a few hours a day or on a live-in basis. Compassionate caregivers engage seniors in games and activities to enhance cognitive function in addition to providing emotional support to both seniors and their families. Learn more about our care services when you call a friendly Care Manager today at (719) 822-1229 and schedule a free consultation.