It can be difficult 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 tips below can help you 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 doesn’t 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 parent is having difficulty remembering people and things, you all still know who your loved one is. Including your child when jogging your loved one’s memory may increase understanding.
If your senior loved one has been diagnosed with a serious condition and needs help with tasks like meal prep, transportation, bathing, and grooming, reach out to Home Care Assistance, a leading provider of home care service families can trust. We also offer comprehensive care for seniors with dementia, Alzheimer’s, and Parkinson’s.
2. Let Children Know They Aren’t to Blame
Your loved one may go through various mood swings while living with Alzheimer’s, which includes being irrational. Teach your child this is part of the process and that regardless of how angry or irritable your loved one may become, this isn’t your child’s fault. Remind your child it isn’t 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 alleviate any fears your child may have of Alzheimer’s disease being contagious.
Consider hiring a professional caregiver if you need someone to provide care to your loved one. There are many reasons seniors might need assistance at home. Some may require regular mental stimulation due to an Alzheimer’s diagnosis, while others might only need part-time assistance with exercise and basic household tasks. Home Care Assistance is a leading Sarasota senior care provider. Families rely on our expertly trained caregivers to help their senior loved ones maintain a high quality of life.
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 ones’ 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.
An experienced Alzheimer’s caregiver can be a wonderful source of information and support for your whole family. Seniors living with Alzheimer’s disease aren’t the only ones who can benefit from Alzheimer’s care. Sarasota families have much to gain as well, especially if they’re the ones currently providing care. Professional Alzheimer’s caregivers can watch over your loved one, giving you the chance to relax, focus on other responsibilities, and prevent burnout. Reach out to us at Home Care Assistance if you need compassionate professional care for your loved one. Call one of our friendly Care Managers today at (941) 702-5525.