Sunday, March 24, 2013

Grandchildren Discuss Dementia, Alzheimer’s (Video 6:30)

So often, we hear views of adults regarding their parents with dementia. But what is dementia like through the eyes of grandchildren? Imagine their emotions when their loved ones forget their names and can’t remember the relationships they have. What about the hurt feelings these young people experience when agitated grandparents with dementia strike out at them verbally or physically, and they’ve done nothing they know of to cause this?

Dementia must be explained to children in age-appropriate ways that support them in their adjustments to dementia of grandparents and others. Listening to these young people’s concerns and encouraging them to express them are important. Family discussions can be helpful for everyone.

Parents should be aware of changes in grandchildren’s behaviors at home and school. These young people need reassurances that they are not the cause of grandparents’ mood swings, that they are still loved by grandparents who have an illness that sometimes interferes with the expression of that love. Children should be reminded of the many good times in the past that they shared with their grandparents.

In this video, young people express their feelings about how their grandparents’ dementia has impacted their lives.

Frances Shani Parker, Author
Becoming Dead Right: A Hospice Volunteer in Urban Nursing Homes is available in paperback and e-book editions in America and other countries at booksellers such as Amazon and Barnes and Noble .

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