The Huffington Post (June 8, 2012): 'Grandma Doesn't Know My Name!' - Helping Your Child Cope with Alzheimer's

Publication Date: 
Fri, 06/08/2012

Children can be deeply affected when a beloved grandparent develops Alzheimer's disease. They may become afraid, confused, sad, angry, frustrated, worried, or embarrassed -- just to name a few potential feelings. Although each child reacts differently, there are some common fears:

1. The grandparent doesn't love them anymore

2. Their grandparent may be crazy

3. It's their fault that their grandparent is sick

4. They may catch the disease

5. Their parent(s) may get it



The Alzheimer's Association has published a brochure for parents that lists the following behaviors children may exhibit if they are having a hard time understanding or accepting the disease:

1. Withdraw from or lose patience with the person

2. Do poorly in school

3. Express physical pain, like a stomachace or headache

4. Spend more time away from home

5. Stop inviting friends to the house

6. Argue more with others at home, especially those providing care for the person with Alzheimer's