When a Grandparent has Alzheimer’s: How to Explain Alzheimer’s to Your Child

There really is no easy way to explain to your children how a patient with Alzheimer’s acts. With your help, your children can begin to understand what’s happening, and even play a role in maintaining the grandparent’s quality of life.

You can simply explain to your children that when people get older, they sometimes need help, because they can’t get around very well, they get tired, and sometimes they get forgetful.

Having a grandparent with Alzheimer’s can be a difficult time for you and your child. Depending on how close the relationship between child and grandparent is, the child may feel saddened and may even feel a sense of loss or grief over seeing grandma or grandpa with such a devastating illness. Below are some ideas for what you can do to help:

  • Take the child to visit grandma or grandpa. For so long as your parent recognizes his or her family members, a visit with a grandchild can be one of the most rewarding times for someone with Alzheimer’s.  Don’t overload your child or the grandparent. Limit your time for each visit; sometimes grandparents get tired more quickly than children.
  • Get your child to participate in the care giving. Getting grandma a glass of water or telling grandpa a story are all small things that will help both the child and the grandparent in a big way.
  • Be honest with your child. It’s fine to tell them that the brain isn’t functioning properly and that’s why grandma or grandpa forgets. They don’t require medical terms, statistics or treatments and procedures. Keep your answers short and simple.
Do you have a loved one who is suffering from Alzheimer’s? Persons with Alzheimer’s and their families face special legal and financial needs. At The Fairfax and Fredericksburg Elder Law Firms of Evan H. Farr, P.C. we are dedicated to easing the financial and emotional burden on those suffering from dementias such as Alzheimer’s, and their loved ones. If you have a loved one who is suffering from Alzheimer’s or any other type of dementia, we can help you prepare for your future financial and long-term care needs. We help protect the family’s hard-earned assets while maintaining your loved one’s comfort, dignity, and quality of life by ensuring eligibility for critical government benefits. Call us today at 703-691-1888 to make an appointment for an initial consultation.
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About Evan H Farr, CELA, CAP

Evan H. Farr is a 4-time Best-Selling author in the field of Elder Law and Estate Planning. In addition to being one of approximately 500 Certified Elder Law Attorneys in the Country, Evan is one of approximately 100 members of the Council of Advanced Practitioners of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys and is a Charter Member of the Academy of Special Needs Planners.