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181 - Granny Needs My Help – Kids as Alzheimer’s Caregivers

181 - Granny Needs My Help – Kids as Alzheimer’s Caregivers

Helping Kids be effective caregivers helps everyone.

Many people assume kids can't be caregivers. As an older adult family member progresses in their disease, some of the things they do can be scary for younger kids. Children can become confused when Grandma forgets how old they are or GrandDad asks the same questions all the time.

Adult caregivers struggle with how Alzheimer's affects their loved ones. A person who used to be warm and friendly can suddenly become angry and unreasonable. It would be a typical act of love to do our best to shield kids from caregiving.

However, kids can be fantastic caregivers to an older family member if we help them understand what is happening. Some tips for talking to kids about Alzheimer's from Aging Care are;

It is a disease that affects how the brain works.
It is not contagious.
Symptoms like memory loss, disorientation, difficulty communicating, and changes in mood and behavior will worsen over time.
While there isn't a cure for Alzheimer's, some treatments can help improve specific symptoms.

More Tips
Keep conversations about what is happening age-appropriate and straightforward. You can tell younger kids that Grandma's brain is sick. Comparing it to an illness, they've had in the past may help them understand. They may look the same on the outside, but inside, their brain is changing.

Kids are very observant. Attempting to shield them from what is happening is unlikely to work. Worse, it can make them afraid of their loved ones. Encouraging kids to ask questions, help when they can go a long way in assisting them to become effective caregivers.

Kids have unique qualities that make them naturally good at some caregiving tasks. In this episode, I talk to Deborah Mills; a caregiver turned author. Deborah takes care of her Mother and also helps out with the grandkids. Her household is a perfect example of multi-generational caregiving.

In “My Granny Needs Help”, Deborah helps kids understand how to be good caregivers. It is a beautifully illustrated book. Naturally, she based the characters on her own family.

This episode also has a special guest, so be sure to hear her too!

Grab My Granny Needs My Help Here
My Journal My Thoughts: A Place to Write Down What I'm Thinking and Feeling


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Fading Memories was created to support family caregivers in a simple, on-demand form. When I was looking for advice on caring for my Mom, I needed this podcast. Since it didn’t exist, I created what I needed!
Jen – pod host

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