Summer is a popular time of the year for family reunions. If you or someone you love is in the early stages of Alzheimer's or receiving in home elder care as the condition progresses, it is important to talk to children about what is happening to their grandparent or other family member before the reunion. The changes that happen in a person as a result of Alzheimer's can be hard for both teens and children to understand, so it is important to prepare them.
Have an open conversation
When talking to your children or grandchildren about Alzheimer's, talk to them about what the disease is and how it will affect their beloved relative. Explain to them that nothing in the situation is their fault and that its OK to feel sad or scared. Allow them to express any feelings they may be having and encourage them to ask questions.
They may initially withdraw from their loved one
If your child or grandchild was very close to a family member who now receives Alzheimers care, he may initially avoid spending time with his loved one. It can be an emotional experience for him to see this person acting differently or forgetting who he is. It is OK for him to need space to cope with his feelings, but you should also encourage him and the family member with Alzheimer's to help with small tasks at the party, such as putting out plates, napkins and utensils.