The topic of Alzheimer’s disease is a difficult one for anyone to approach. As an adult, you can understand the disease and what it means, and prepare yourself for how it will change your parent and the care that you are going to need to give them. For your children, however, this might not be as easy. This disease can be very difficult for them, even frightening them, and it is critical that you are there to help them to understand what is happening so that they can not only feel more confident, but also can continue to maintain a meaningful relationship with their senior loved one.
Use these tips to help you explain Alzheimer’s disease to your children:
Be clear with them that this is a disease. Don’t try to pretend that there is nothing wrong or that their grandparent is “just confused” or “being silly”. This will only confuse your child and make them not understand when the symptoms get worse. It can even hurt their feelings when the senior does or says something and your child thinks that they are doing it on purpose.
Make sure they know that it is not contagious. When many people hear “disease” they think that it is something contagious. Reassure your child that they cannot catch Alzheimer’s disease and that spending time with their grandparent is not a risk or dangerous to them in any way.
Explain behaviors. When you notice that your parent is expressing a behavior or symptom that might be unnerving or upsetting to your child, take the time to explain it. Acknowledge what has happened and that it is alright for that to be scary or upsetting, and talk through it with your child. Reassure them that their grandparent is not doing this on purpose and that they, as children, did not do anything wrong.
Encourage a continued relationship. Children tend to be extremely resilient and understanding. As long as they are given the opportunity, they are often able to adapt to changes and continue on with their lives as usual. Encourage your child to continue their relationship with their grandparent. Help them to understand that them spending time with the senior, even just talking or reading books together, can make a huge difference for them.
If you are caring for a senior adult who is suffering from Alzheimer’s disease, now may be the ideal time for you to consider starting senior care for them. Whether they are just at the beginning of their journey and starting to show symptoms of the disease, or have progressed to a more advanced stage and are dealing with challenges and needs that are beyond what you feel that you can manage comfortably and effectively, a senior home care services provider can help.
This care provider can be there for your parent on a schedule that is right for them and their needs, as well as the care efforts that you are able to give them. Through a highly personalized set of services this care provider can help your parent to manage their individual challenges, limitations, and needs in a way that is right for them while also preparing them for those that may develop as they progress further in the disease. For you, this can ease stress and help you to have more peace of mind while also allowing you to take care of the other needs in your life, including yourself.
If you or an aging loved one are in need of Senior Care Services in Manhasset NY or the surrounding areas, contact the caring professionals at Star Multi Care Services today at (631)956-8835. We are the Right Choice for Home Health Care Services!
From 1978 to 1986, Sternbach was associated with Automated Data Processing, Inc. (“ADP”)–a provider of information services, where he held several marketing positions before becoming the Director of Sales.
1999-2008 Sternbach was an active participant on the Board of Directors for Proginet–a computer software company based in Garden City, New York. He also served on the Board of Trustees of the Long Island Chapter of the National Multiple Sclerosis Society from 1996-2002.
In 1996, Stephen Sternbach was named “Entrepreneur of the Year” by Ernst & Young, Paine Webber and NASDAQ. Sternbach was also named in Crain’s New York Business Article, “40 Under 40” Successful Business Executives/Future Business Leaders in 1995. While maintaining a diversity of business and personal interests, Sternbach concentrated most of his efforts over the past 28 years towards continuously improving the quality of services delivered by the Star Multi Care Services’ family of companies.
Stephen Sternbach holds a Master of Public Administration from Syracuse University – Maxwell School of Public Administration and a Bachelor of Arts in Industrial Relations and Personnel Administration from Ithaca College.