It can be hard to accept an elderly loved one developing Alzheimer’s disease, and it can be even tougher on children since they often have little-to-no understanding of the condition. However, informing your child about why his or her grandparent is acting differently can help him or her better grasp the situation. The staff at Home Care Assistance, a leading provider of Prescott senior care, suggests using the tips below to help explain as much about Alzheimer’s as you can to your child.
1. Explain the Reasons for Memory Loss
Your child may be hurt if your loved one does not remember who he or she is, which is why you need to explain the symptoms of Alzheimer’s. Let your child know that even though your loved one is having difficulty remembering people and things, you all still know who your loved one is. Including your child when helping jog your loved one’s memory may help increase understanding.
2. Let the Child Know He or She Is Not to Blame
Your loved one may go through various mood swings while living with Alzheimer’s, which includes being irrational. You should teach your childthis is part of the process, and regardless of how angry or irritable your loved one may become, this is not your child’s fault. Remind your child it is not your loved one’s choice to act this way and the behavior is due to the disease.
3. Encourage Physical Contact
Though you should never force your child to hug your loved one if he or she is afraid, you can still encourage affection. When your child holds on to your loved one’s hand, for instance, he or she may feel comfort from understanding your loved one is still the same person. Ideally this will also help alleviate any fears your child may have of Alzheimer’s disease being contagious.
4. Purchase Educational Books
There are many age-appropriate books available to help children better understand Alzheimer’s. These books sometimes include stories from other children who were confused about their loved one’s condition and what methods they used to gain understanding. This can make your child feel less alone and offer comfort knowing someone his or her own age has experienced similar feelings.
Ensuring your child understands Alzheimer’s is just one step in helping your loved one live as normal a life as possible. For instance, your loved one may face challenges directly related to the condition that prevent him or her from accomplishing important daily tasks. A professional in-home caregiver can help manage these tasks. For Alzheimer’s care Prescott families trust, turn to Home Care Assistance. Our caregivers are all trained in the Cognitive Therapeutics Method, an activities-based program that helps slow cognitive decline and delay the onset of memory-related conditions. For more information on our senior care services, call one of our Care Managers today at (928) 771-0105.