How to Help Children Understand Alzheimers Disease
Grandparents are typically the favorite people of most children. Grandparents indulge their grandkids and listen to them. They have the tolerance to play Go Fish constantly and they can tell an excellent story. But what takes place when the grandparent starts becoming more of a kid than their own grandchildren? How are you able to help your children understand Alzheimer’s and the way to deal with the realization that their grandparent eventually might not know them or be in a position to look after themselves?
These are difficult questions, but there are some ways you can talk with your youngsters about the situation. One of the best techniques for youngsters to appreciate what having Alzheimer’s means is role playing. Ask your child what they felt like at a point in time when they were lost – whether it was in a mall, grocery store, or park. Did they feel frightened and panic when they could not find a familiar face? By imagining that fear when they themselves lost, kids will understand one of the situations that Alzheimer’s sufferers commonly experience. Blindfold your child and ask them to maneuver around your house or safe area. Ask them to go from point A to B without seeing where they’re going. They may know where they are, but they get annoyed when they stumble into “roadblocks” on the way. Navigating is hard to work out and confusion can result, causing them to get turned around.
Just when they’re about to give up, take away the blindfold temporarily so they can see where they are then put it back on. This exercise illustrates what their beloved grandparent suffering from Alzheimer’s could be going through and it could be a real eye-opener for a kid. Talk with your child and make sure they know that it is okay to be sad and frustrated when they visit with their grandparent.
Tell them it’s all right to feel defenseless and even resentful thanks to the attention and time that could be diverted from them in caring for a family member with Alzheimer’s. What it is not okay to do is to take it out on their grandparents.
Give them some ideas on what they can do to still engage with their grandparents, even though they might have forgotten their names or other things about them. Sharing their lives – college, chums and interests – can keep their grandparents engaged, even if they might fail to understand what’s going on. The physical and social interaction helps massively with Alzheimer’s sufferers, so let your kid know that. Children can spend some time outside with their grandparent picking flowers or enjoying the sunlight.
They can read stories to them or play music. Kids can dig out some old photograph albums and relive some glorious memories with their grandparent, indicating people and places to them.
They can engage their grandparent in an activity like crafts or playing with play dough. Shortly, kids will understand the activity does not really matter as much as the interaction and love they share with grandparent troubled with the Alzheimer’s.