Alzheimer’s Disease is a difficult topic to discuss. It is one of the most common causes of dementia, and affects over 6 million Americans age 65 and over. The disease can cause changes in behavior, personality, and cognition.

Let’s discuss Alzheimer’s Disease and how to educate children about the disease.

What is Alzheimer’s Disease?

Alzheimer’s disease is a type of dementia that causes changes in memory, thinking, and behavior. It is a progressive disease, which means it gets worse over time. Alzheimer’s Disease progresses slowly but relentlessly, eventually robbing people of their ability to carry out the simplest tasks or recognize loved ones. The cause of Alzheimer’s Disease is not yet known, but there are some things that may increase the risk of getting it, like age or genetics.

How Does Alzheimer’s Disease Progress?

Although the cause of Alzheimer’s disease is not know, the progression of the disease is understood. It starts with mild symptoms, which may include forgetting recent events or conversations, difficulty planning and organizing, or changes in mood or behavior. As the disease progresses, people with Alzheimer’s will have more trouble remembering things and may start to lose their independence. Eventually, they may need total care.

How Can You Educate a Child About Alzheimer’s Disease?

Remember that dementia not only affects you, but can also have an impact on your children. So, you need to be open and honest with them about the disease. “Alzheimer’s” is a big word for children and the word “disease” sounds scary to children and one that they may not understand. One way to start educating children about Alzheimer’s Disease is by explaining that it is a disease in the brain, just like any other part of the body. It can affect behavior and memory.

Alzheimer’s Disease is a difficult topic to discuss. It is one of the most common causes of dementia, and affects over 6 million Americans age 65 and over. The disease can cause changes in behavior, personality, and cognition.

Another important thing to stress when talking with children about Alzheimer’s Disease is understanding what happens before someone gets sick. It can be difficult for children to understand Alzheimer’s Disease when they don’t see any physical changes in their appearance. For example, if your child knows his or her grandparent is starting to forget things, your child can watch for changes in that person’s behavior. This will help your child know what to look for and understand the disease better.

It is also important to remember that everyone experiences Alzheimer’s Disease differently, so it is okay if someone’s story or explanation about the disease does not match up exactly with what you have said.

It is good for your kids to know that there are different kinds of Alzheimer’s Disease . There can also be a difference in how quickly someone will progress through their stages of this illness. In addition, it might help if they understand what happens when people get sick from dementia. Explain it in terms your child will understand.

For Young Children
Younger children understand more than what we often give them credit for. For a younger child, you may need to focus on the fact that people with dementia are sick in their minds. This means they can’t remember or think clearly.

You may also want to explain how Alzheimer’s Disease makes someone act differently than before. One of the most difficult parts for children is seeing a parent or grandparent change so much over time, not being able to recognize them anymore. This can be confusing and scary.

As far as solutions, you may want to explain that there is no cure for Alzheimer’s Disease right now, but research and medicine are always trying to help people with this disease live longer and enjoy life more.

For Teenagers
For older children who seem interested in the topic, they might like learning about some of the latest research on how Alzheimer’s Disease works. For example, there is research that shows how the type of food someone eats might help prevent Alzheimer’s Disease from developing or progressing to more severe stages of memory loss and confusion.

What Should You NOT Tell Your Children?

Although you want to explain Alzheimer’s Disease to your children, you also don’t want to “overshare” information, such as what happens during late-stage Alzheimer’s. A good rule of thumb is to not reveal information about this unless they ask you a question. Be candid, but also remember that some things are best left unsaid.

What Happens if Your Child is Suddenly Nervous About Visiting Grandparents?

If your child is nervous about visiting grandparents after your discussion, it’s important to respect their feelings. However, it’s also a good opportunity to open up a dialogue about why they may feel that way and reiterate that the disease doesn’t have anything to do with how much they love their grandparents.

You can also let them know that there may come a time when grandparents will need more care than what the family can provide. Moving a loved one into a memory care program, such as Salize, will provide the best care possible with services designed for those with Alzheimer’s Disease.

Final Thoughts

There is also a lot of research being done on how to help people with Alzheimer’s Disease through lifestyle changes. This could include things like exercise, social activities, and mental stimulation. Teaching children about Alzheimer’s disease will make it less scary for them. No matter your age, knowledge is power.