Helping Children Understand Alzheimer’s Disease

When a loved one has Alzheimer’s disease, it affects everyone in the family, including children and grandchildren. It’s important to talk to children about their concerns and feelings about the loved one who has Alzheimer’s disease. Here are some tips to help kids understand and cope with Alzheimer’s:

  • Answer their questions simply and honestly. For example, you might tell a young child, “Grandma has an illness that makes it hard for her to remember things.”
  • Help them know that their feelings of sadness and anger are normal.
  • Comfort them. Tell them no one caused the disease. Young children may think they did something to hurt their grandparent.

Doing fun things together can help both the child and the person with Alzheimer’s. Here are some things they might do:

  • Create simple arts and crafts
  • Play music or sing
  • Look through photo albums
  • Read stories out loud

Explore more strategies to help kids understand Alzheimer’s disease on NIA’s website. Find this information in Spanish as well. 

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