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Children and Alzheimer's
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TOPIC: Children and Alzheimer's

Children and Alzheimer's 2 years, 10 months ago #4252

  • nightowl
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Children are awed by adults, especially grandparents and other aging seniors. However, children can\'t understand behavior of aging seniors who are suffering from Alzheimer\'s. How do you best explain it to them, so they will understand and respect the elders who have Alzheimer\'s?

Re:Children and Alzheimer's 2 years, 10 months ago #4259

I think it\'s important that they understand the disease, the basics of it at least. You don\'t have to go technical in explaining it to them. You can start by saying that the disease mostly attacks old people and describing what changes in behavior usually accompany Alzheimer\'s...There will come a time when their grandpa or grandma can\'t recognize them anymore. You have to emphasize that this isn\'t because their grandparents don\'t love them anymore or anything like that, so that they won\'t feel bad.

Re:Children and Alzheimer's 2 years, 10 months ago #4260

  • midwestgirl
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When i was a child, my great aunt had Alzheimer\'s before it had that name. How I learned to deal with my aunt was modeled for me by my mother. We, children, always maintained a loving and respectful tone. We were to engage her as best as we could about topics we knew she liked. It was not necessarily enjoyable but part of a duty we had to her. Nonetheless, it was a valuable lesson and I was happy to do it.

Re:Children and Alzheimer's 2 years, 10 months ago #4272

I remember watching my then 4-yr old helping her grandmother \"find\" a \"missing\" word... what started out as frustration ended up in laughter.

Ours were told that memory is a brain function, and that like other parts of the body, it can get tired and sluggish and not work as well as it should. They were also made aware of just how frustrating that can be for the person suffering with it, and never ever showed anything but patience and gentle humor to Gramma.

Re:Children and Alzheimer's 2 years, 10 months ago #4273

  • MyTurn
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Bedpan Betty wrote:

Ours were told that memory is a brain function, and that like other parts of the body, it can get tired and sluggish and not work as well as it should. They were also made aware of just how frustrating that can be for the person suffering with it, and never ever showed anything but patience and gentle humor to Gramma.


What a great way to explain it to the kids. It sounds like you instilled them with a lot of compassion.

When I was a child, my best friend\'s grandfather was in a retirement home, and he had Alzheimer\'s. I grew up with him much as she did, so we would always visit together. I\'ll never forget the one day we walked in and he smiled brightly at me and offered a hug, then looked at my friend and asked who she was. I felt awful for her. I don\'t remember if the disease was explained to us, though.
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