Alzheimer’s disease can take a toll on the whole family, not just the senior with the condition. Seeing someone you love go through the physical and emotional changes related to the disease is difficult to witness. This can be especially difficult for young children, who may have fears about the changes they see happening to someone they love.
If you provide care for an aging loved one with Alzheimer’s, it’s important to begin a conversation with your children about the condition and what your loved one will be going through. Doing so can alleviate fears while also helping your children understand what to expect. You can start talking to your children about the disease as soon as you feel it’s appropriate, and you should keep in mind the following tips.
Talk about the Disease in Age-Appropriate Terms
For younger children, you can simply state that your loved one is sick and will have difficulty remembering things and will sometimes be confused. There are also many age-appropriate books available to help children better understand Alzheimer’s. These books sometimes include stories from other children who were confused about their loved ones’ condition and what methods they used to gain understanding.
If your senior loved one has been diagnosed with a serious condition and needs help with tasks like meal prep, transportation, bathing, and grooming, reach out to Home Care Assistance, a leading provider of in-home care families can trust. We also offer comprehensive care for seniors with dementia, Alzheimer’s, and Parkinson’s.
Gauge How Much Information You Provide by Their Responses
Depending on your children’s level of understanding, you can also explain to them what changes they’ll see as the disease progresses. For teens, you can offer more information, including letting them know what the prognosis is and what treatments are being used.
Consider hiring a professional caregiver if you need someone to provide care to your loved one. There are many reasons seniors might need assistance at home. Some may require regular mental stimulation due to an Alzheimer’s diagnosis, while others might only need part-time assistance with exercise and basic household tasks. Home Care Assistance is a leading Huntsville homecare provider. Families rely on our expertly trained caregivers to help their senior loved ones maintain a high quality of life.
Check Their Feelings Regularly
Also, make sure to check in with your children periodically to find out how they’re feeling. Let your children know they can come talk to you about whatever they’re feeling at any time.
Keep in mind, though, that children and teens won’t always communicate what they’re feeling the way an adult will, so if you see any signs that indicate they may be having a difficult time, make sure to reach out to them. Sometimes simply knowing you’re there to listen can encourage children to share their true feelings. Talking to your children about your loved one’s Alzheimer’s can be a difficult conversation to have, but it’s one that’s necessary to ensure their comfort at home.
An experienced Alzheimer’s caregiver can be a wonderful source of information and support for your whole family. Seniors living with Alzheimer’s disease aren’t the only ones who can benefit from Alzheimer’s care. Huntsville families have much to gain as well, especially if they’re the ones currently providing care. Professional Alzheimer’s caregivers can watch over your loved one, giving you the chance to relax, focus on other responsibilities, and prevent burnout. To create a customized home care plan for your loved one, call Home Care Assistance at (256) 716-9940 today.