How to Tell Your Kids About Their Grandparent’s Dementia

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The changes that occur due to dementia can be confusing to children who love their grandparents. Use the following tips to help your children preserve their relationship as they learn more about their loved one’s dementia diagnosis. 

Start as Soon as You’re Ready

Parents often worry about their children being too young to understand serious health conditions such as dementia. However, your children have likely already noticed a few changes in their loved one, but they may be too afraid to bring it up. Make sure you have emotionally managed the diagnosis yourself, and bring up the subject as soon as you have. Talking about dementia early on allows your children to have more time to adjust to the news. 

Dementia is a serious health condition. If your senior loved one needs help managing an illness or assistance with daily tasks, make sure you choose a top-rated provider of home care. Waterloo Home Care Assistance is here to help your loved one live a happier and healthier life in the golden years. From the mentally stimulating activities in our Cognitive Therapeutics Method to our friendly Care Managers who are available to answer your questions 24 hours a day, we offer a wide array of high-quality at-home care services.

Eliminate Blame

Children sometimes think bad things happen to people who do bad things. Make sure to clear this up by letting your children know dementia is a condition that involves changes in the brain that affect behavior. Knowing their loved one didn’t do anything to deserve the disease could help your children continue to respect their grandparent. 

Explain the Unexpected 

Dementia symptoms can vary from one moment to the next, which is confusing for children who thrive on consistency. After all, it may not make sense for their grandparent to remember their names one day and forget who they are the next. Talk to your children about how dementia is a progressive illness and the symptoms can come and go. This way, they never think their grandparent is just making it up or acting silly for fun. This is also a good time to talk about what the future may hold for your loved one, which may include needing someone to help him or her remember things such as turning off the stove after cooking.

Engaging in activities such as cooking while managing the symptoms of dementia can be challenging. Aging adults who require assistance with the tasks of daily living can benefit from reliable home care. Waterloo, IA, families trust in Home Care Assistance to provide the high-quality care their elderly loved ones need and deserve. Our caregivers are trained to help seniors prevent and manage serious illnesses and encourage them to make healthier decisions as they age.

Encourage Them to Ask Questions

Children often have questions you might not think to address during your conversation. They may also have questions that arise after your talk or as your loved one’s condition progresses. Let your children know they can always come to you with their questions so you can quickly address their concerns. 

Find a Few Positives

It’s difficult to find anything good about dementia, but trying to highlight the positives can get your children into a better mindset for learning to support their grandparent through the disease. For instance, children sometimes find their grandparent is more fun now that he or she enjoys simpler games. You can also emphasize that people with dementia still have the capacity to love their family members even if they do not always know their names. 

Plan Fun Activities to Do Together

Your children may not understand how to act around their loved one. Ease their discomfort by planning dementia-friendly activities before your visits. From watching a video together on a smartphone to sharing a few photos from their latest school event, your children will quickly discover their grandparent enjoys hearing about their day.

For some families, caring for a senior loved one can be overwhelming at times. Luckily, they can rely on professional respite care. Waterloo, IA, Home Care Assistance is a trusted name in respite and hourly care. Our caregivers are available around the clock to assist seniors with bathing, transportation, medication reminders, exercise, and much more, allowing families the time they need to focus on other important responsibilities or just take a break. Call us at 319-260-2222 to schedule a free in-home consultation.

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