How to Help Children Cope When a Loved One Has Alzheimer’s

A loved one’s Alzheimer’s diagnosis can be difficult to deal with, especially when children are involved. They generally don’t understand the full ramifications of the disease and why their grandparents or other family members don’t remember them very well. They may start to worry that other family members will forget who they are. And their confusion and worry may show up in other aspects of their life, such as neglected school work or opting to spend more time away from home. Fortunately, you can help them adjust. Here are some tips to get you started.

8. Validate Their Emotions

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Allow your children to vent. Support their feelings, even if those feelings aren’t positive. Alzheimer’s can be a very emotional disease for everyone, and you want your child to know that it’s OK to be scared or unhappy or frustrated. It’s all natural and part of the process of adjusting.

7. Educate Them about Alzheimer’s

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Give your children all the information you think they can handle. While kids can’t usually grasp the particulars of Alzheimer’s, they can certainly understand the general principles. Prepare them for what’s going to happen so that they’re not completely taken off guard when a loved one can’t remember their name or is experiencing bouts of forgetfulness.

6. Encourage Their Questions

Encourage your children to ask questions. This will get them comfortable with what’s happening and start a dialogue. The more they know, the less they have to fear and be uncertain about.

5. Answer Honestly

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Be honest with your answers, even if the answers are grim. Children will find out the truth eventually, and you don’t want them becoming disillusioned.

The Alzheimer's Site is a place where people can come together to support those whose lives have been affected by Alzheimer's disease. In addition to sharing stories of hope and love, shopping for the cause, and signing petitions, visitors can take just a moment each day to click on the purple button to help provide care for those living with Alzheimer's disease and research for a brighter future. Visit The Alzheimer's Site and click today - it's free!
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