Your mom’s doctor diagnosed her as having Alzheimer’s a few years ago. She’s starting to get more forgetful and more agitated. It’s time to talk to your children about Alzheimer’s, but you’re not sure how to do it. Here are some tips.
Take Age Into Consideration
A teen has a stronger understanding of the brain than an elementary student has. Make sure you don’t try to go into too much depth for your child’s age. If your child is very young, the use of pictures will be more useful than a long speech. Shorter sessions will also help a younger child process the information you’re sharing.
It’s important to be honest with your child. Alzheimer’s is a progressive disease. Your parent is not going to get better. Start by explaining what leads to Alzheimer’s. Alz.org has videos that you can watch with your child that breaks down the facts and leads to online demonstrations that show exactly what’s happening within your mom or dad’s brain. The Brain Tour at Alz.org is especially helpful at showing what happens.
Answer Questions as They Arise
Your children will have questions. When they arise, take the time to answer them. Never say you’re too busy and that you’ll talk later. If you cannot immediately answer, have a friend, family member, or significant other step in and answer for you.
Make Sure Your Children Understand It’s Not Them
Your parent may snap and become irritated. It’s going to confuse and possibly scare your child. Make sure they know that they are never to blame. Alzheimer’s eliminates filters that help your mom or dad know the right and wrong things to say. Explain to your child that those filters are missing and that anything your parent says that is hurtful or scary is the disease talking, not their grandparent or older family member.
Be There for Your Kids
Make sure you leave plenty of time in your schedule to spend time with your kids. It’s easy to focus on your mom or dad’s care, but your children, especially younger children, may not understand. If you are the family caregiver, hire a caregiver from a home care agency to provide you with some respite each week.
Home care professionals can help with grooming and toileting. They can prepare meals, help with light housework, and provide transportation. Call our home care agency to talk about Alzheimer’s care for your parent and respite for yourself.
If you or an aging loved one are considering Home Care Services in Naples FL, call the caring staff at Dial-a-Nurse today. Naples: (239) 307-0033. Ft. Myers: (239) 307-0065.
In 1995 he became Administrator of Dial-a-Nurse nursing agency, the oldest nursing agency in the Southwest Florida succeeding his mother who started the company 37 years ago. He is also President of Nevco, Inc., an educational healthcare training company begun in 1988.
Mr. Wolfendale has worked with the U.S. Department of Commerce on various Missions to improve the quality of life around the world by development of supportive healthcare programs. In 2005 he traveled with U.S. officials and addressed the Italian National Government assisting in the creation of Nurse Education mandates for that Country. In 2006 he was invited and spoke with the National Institutes of Continuing Education in Eastern Europe on healthcare education and developmental mandates, and most recently represented the United States at the European Union in Lake Balaton, Hungary in 2011. In 2014 he traveled with the U.S. Department of State to Singapore, Malaysia and Vietnam in an effort to improve caregiver knowledge and training.
Mr. Wolfendale has worked with a number of non-profits in contributing and creating curriculum to improve the quality of life in third-world countries since 2001, and notably created a successful program in Odessa, India that has been modeled in other areas of the world. In his backyard, he has worked with local Goodwill Industries to provide curriculum and training to underserved individuals who have obtained employment as a result of educational training. He was the Congressional appointment to the Governor's purple ribbon task force in 2013, and has worked to educate caregivers in all aspects of Alzheimer's training.