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How to Help Children Understand Alzheimer’s

Adjusting to your senior loved one’s Alzheimer’s can be difficult for everyone in the family, but especially for young children who may not understand what is happening. Knowing how to explain Alzheimer’s disease can help you provide comfort to children in a time of uncertainty. Here are some tips for helping children understand Alzheimer’s, brought to you by the senior care experts at Home Care Assistance Westfield.

Explain the Symptoms

Talk with your child and make sure to clarify Alzheimer’s is a disease that can cause your loved one to act differently and forget things sometimes. If your loved one no longer recognizes your child, remind the child he or she is still important, but that your loved one may not be able to remember it at the time.

Educate the Child

By checking your local libraries or bookstores for books on Alzheimer’s, you may find one that suits your needs. Books can be a great way for a child to absorb information about an unfamiliar subject as he or she listens to the story. Make sure to pick a book that matches your child’s level of understanding.

Participate in Activities Together

Simple activities the child and your loved one both enjoy can help take the spotlight off of Alzheimer’s symptoms. Doing arts and crafts, looking through photo albums, and listening to music can be fun for both parties and help stimulate your loved one’s cognition. Encouraging the two to stay in contact during fun situations can help make evident how your loved one feels toward your child, even though he or she may not remember at that moment who the child is.

Share Your Feelings

If your child has questions, let him or her ask, and answer them as best you can. Open conversation can help address fears about Alzheimer’s. Let your child know it is okay to feel mad, nervous, or sad at times, and maybe share how you feel about your loved one’s condition.

Helping your child comprehend what your loved one is going through can make the caregiving process simpler for everyone involved. However, finding the time to properly care for your loved one may be a challenge if other family obligations sometimes take precedence. If your loved one is in the advanced stages of Alzheimer’s, he or she may need daily assistance from a part-time or live-in caregiver. For Alzheimer’s care Westfield families trust, turn to Home Care Assistance. Our caregivers can provide your loved one with mental stimulation via the Cognitive Therapeutics Method, an activities-based program that helps slow cognitive decline. For more information on our senior care services, call a qualified Care Manager today at 908.450.9400.