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Thursday, June 28, 2012

Helping Your Child Cope with Alzheimer's : Parents Guide Helping Children Understand Alzheimer's Disease

Children can be deeply affected when a beloved grandparent develops Alzheimer's disease. They may become afraid, confused, sad, angry, frustrated, guilty, worried, or embarrassed -- just to name a few potential feelings. Although each child reacts differently, there are some common fears:
1. The grandparent doesn't love them anymore
2. Their grandparent may be crazy
3. It's their fault that their grandparent is sick 
4. They may catch the disease
5. Their parent(s) may get it  

Signs That Your Child May Be Having Problems Coping

The Alzheimer's Association has published a brochure for parents that lists the following behaviors children may exhibit if they are having a hard time understanding or accepting the disease:
1. Withdraw from or lose patience with the person
2. Do poorly in school
3. Express physical pain, like a stomachache or headache
4. Spend more time away from home
5. Stop inviting friends to the house
6. Argue more with others at home, especially those providing care for the person with Alzheimer's

Special Issues for Teens
Teens may express a variety of thoughts -- both positive and negative -- about how their lives have changed because of a grandparent's dementia. According to the brochure mentioned above, these thoughts may include:
1. I don't like to talk about what going on at home with my friends
2. When I help out with my grandparent I feel like my family really needs me
3. I feel good that I know how to do the little things that make a difference for my grandparent
4. Sometimes I feel embarrassed about how my grandparent is acting
5. I don't feel comfortable having my friends over
6. I've never felt closer to my mom now because we're facing this together

Read in detail here , click : 
Marie Marley: 'Grandma Doesn't Know My Name!' Helping Your Child Cope with Alzheimer's

by Marie Marley PhD