When Alzheimer’s disease or a related dementia affects their loved ones, children often get swept up in an overwhelming feeling of emotional loss.
In general, several factors may impact the intensity of a child’s response. For one, the closer the child’s relationship with a loved one, the greater the response will likely be. Another contributor is the degree to which Alzheimer’s disease has affected a loved one’s memory, communication skills and other behaviors. There could be a big difference in a child’s response, for example, if a grandparent mixes up the grandchild’s name versus not having any idea that this is a grandchild. In addition, the verbal and non-verbal reactions of other family members can influence how youngsters may react.
Age-appropriate education about Alzheimer’s disease, reassurance and some creative techniques related to a child’s world can help youngsters overcome fears and work through their overall feelings of loss.
For more information, connect with the Alzheimer’s Foundation of America’s licensed social workers. Click here or call 866.232.8484. Real People. Real Care.