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Alzheimer’s causes unpredictable days, both for the person living with the disease and for those who love and care for them. In the morning, the senior might seem like themselves, but by evening, they may become agitated and anxious. This is an example of a behavioral expression, or a person’s way of indicating that they have an unmet need or desire.
A grandparent might remember the grandchild and call them by name some days, but they might not recognize the child the next time they see them. The rollercoaster of emotions this creates can leave children feeling as if they’ve done something wrong. That’s why it’s important to discuss the issue early in the disease’s progression.
5 Tips for Explaining Alzheimer’s Disease to Children
It can be tough to explain the illness and its effects to younger children in terms they can understand. We have a few tips to help:
We also suggest that you take time to develop a list of activities your kids can still do with their senior loved one despite the disease. Craft projects, music, dancing, birdwatching, and sorting cards are just a few ideas. After you discuss the disease with the kids, review your list with them. They might even have ideas to add to it.
Sunrise Podcast Library
The complex nature of Alzheimer’s disease can leave caregivers frustrated and confused. We created several podcast episodes to help families continue to learn more. In Episode 3 of The Senior Caregiver podcast, you can listen to memory care expert Rita Altman discuss a variety of topics and give additional advice for explaining Alzheimer’s to children.