There are millions of seniors in the United States of America who are currently living with dementia. While accepting that your older loved one has dementia is never easy for anyone, it can be especially difficult for children to understand. As parents, you may find yourself struggling with how to communicate the medical condition to your children.
It may be confusing to them why their grandparents forget their name or do things that seem out of character. They may overhear adult’s conversations and find themselves unable to identify what’s going on.
Take a look at some of the best tips for explaining dementia to a young child.
There’s no need to sugarcoat the truth when it comes to being honest with children. Believe it or not, kids are smarter than you think and usually start to catch on when you try to cover things up. Be honest about what’s happening to your older loved one period explained that dementia as a disease that gradually gets worse.
Unfortunately, there is no cure; however, remind your child that it’s still helpful to support your loved one as much as possible. Reassure them that it’s no one’s fault and simply a condition that happens to people as they get older that they require care for.
It can be a difficult pill to swallow except that their grandparent, as they once knew them is no longer the same. However, reassure them that their grandparent is still there deep inside and still love them even though their memories may be difficult to access, it doesn’t mean that the wonderful times they shared together didn’t matter. Remind them that it’s not their grandparents’ fault for forgetting but rather the diseases.
Let Them Be Helpful
It may be easier for them to accept the news if you give them a way to help. Sit down with your child and come up with ideas together of how they can spend time with your loved ones. Perhaps it can be playing games, doing crafts or even reading books together. People with dementia benefit greatly from interacting with their family members, particularly children. It can often bring back memories that you may have thought were gone.
Remind Them To Use Simple Language
When dealing with older people who have dementia, it’s important to use simple language and concepts. Dementia patients may get flustered easily, so it’s important to break things down for them in a way that they can understand. Remind your children not to say or do things that could get them flustered as this can be upsetting for everyone. Even though it may be difficult for everyone involved, you can survive the effects of dementia together working as a team.