Most caregivers of dementia patients are family members. Nearly one-fourth of Alzheimer’s and dementia caregivers are “sandwich generation” caregivers — caring for both someone with the disease and a child or grandchild. If you are a caregiver, this means that at some point, the person you are caring for may move in with you or move closer to you. If you have a young child, they will likely become involved in the care as well. Explaining dementia and caring for someone with dementia could be confusing for a child.
Talking To Kids About Dementia
A dementia diagnosis is an unsure and confusing time for adults. It is only more so for a young person. Oftentimes, our first thought is to protect our children from the reality we are facing. This can become damaging for children. It is important that you continue to provide an honest environment that reassures stability and support.
Ideas For Kids To Keep The Connection
Many children will become upset when they learn or begin to understand what is happening with someone they love. As a caregiver, there are things you can encourage to nurture the bond between a child and an elderly who has dementia. Here are some ideas for how children can stay connected.
- Have younger children draw greeting cards or pictures for their grandparent.
- Have them play a few songs to entertain their grandparent.
- Remind your child of the importance of physical contact
- Plan some family outings in which your parent/grandparent comes along
- In the case of teenagers, involve them in their grandparent’s care.
- Play board games or card games
It is important to continuously support a child through this difficult time. Keeping an open line of communication is key. You should talk to your child honestly about what is happening and answer any questions they might have. This will make them feel safe and secure in such a turbulent time.
Family relationships are a large part of life. Keeping those relationships as normal as possible is something we strive to do at Orchard at Athens. If you and/or your family would like to see our facilities, please contact us to schedule a tour. We are more than happy to provide all the answers you need!