I created The Sue Atkins Book Club during the pandemic to support parents & connect authors – since then it has grown & covers many different types of books.
I think books can help you have big conversations with little people & teens of all ages.
When my mother in law was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s it was a step into the unknown.
Here are my suggestions to help & some really helpful books recommended by AlzAuthors
Whether you’re a caregiver, family member or living with dementia, you’ll find the support you need from decades of caregiving within their Bookstore, Podcast or from other Helpful Sites – plus their AlzAuthors Blog brings you encouraging real-life stories behind each resource.
Here are some suggestions to help you as a family. I hope you find them helpful
My children’s Grandma has senile dementia & it has been sad to see this once incredibly active, kind and weekly golfing woman become a shadow of her former self. When I found out I Googled “Dementia” as I wanted to prepare myself & my family for what was going to happen & how I could prepare my teenage children for the changes
Talking to children about a grandparent’s dementia can be challenging but important to help them understand the changes they may observe & provide them with support
Choose an appropriate time and place:
Find a quiet and comfortable setting where you can have an uninterrupted conversation with your children. Make sure both you and your children are relaxed and have enough time to discuss the topic. Answer your children’s questions as best you can.
Use age-appropriate language:
Tailor your explanation to your child’s age & level of understanding. Use simple and clear language, avoiding complex medical terms. Explain that dementia is an illness that affects the brain & can cause memory loss & changes in behaviour. It’s not something to be frightened of.
Be honest and realistic:
Explain that dementia is a progressive condition, meaning it gets worse over time. Help your children understand that their grandparent may have difficulties remembering things, recognising people, or behaving differently than before. Be honest about the challenges
Encourage questions and emotions:
Give your child an opportunity to ask questions & express their feelings. Reassure them that their feelings are valid & that it’s okay to feel sad, confused, or frustrated.
Provide simple explanations for behaviours:
Help your children understand that any unusual behaviours or forgetfulness from their grandparent are not intentional but a result of the illness. Explain that their grandparent may sometimes struggle with recognising people or may repeat things. Emphasise that it’s important to be patient, kind, and understanding
Assure your children that their grandparent still loves them, even if their behaviour or memory has changed. Reassure them that they are not responsible for the grandparent’s condition & that it’s natural to feel a range of emotions