Home care Rhode Island residents can turn to for specialized service for dementia or Alzheimer’s is available with MAS Home Care. Alzheimer’s disease, the most common form of dementia, is a debilitating condition that causes memory loss, difficulty with cognitive thinking, and can alter behavior. More than 5 million Americans suffer from this disease, which is the 6th leading cause of death in the United States. Five million is not the number of people affected by it, however. That number is greatly multiplied when taking all the caregivers, family members and friends of Alzheimer’s patients into account. It can be frightening and difficult to watch as a loved one slowly succumbs to the disease. As difficult as it is for adults, it can be extremely confusing for children.
The Mayo Clinic offers some good advice on how to handle teaching kids about Alzheimer’s disease. Children may ask questions such as, “Why is Grandma acting so funny?” It is important to explain to children that Alzheimer’s is an illness, just like when they get sick, but that this disease doesn’t get better with some cold medicine. Even though they don’t look sick, the brain is being affected on the inside. The loved one will have a lot of trouble remembering things, and may forget the child’s name. Make sure he/she knows in advance to lessen the shock and hurt that will be felt when it happens. Make sure they know it isn’t their fault!
If your child is close with this person, help them to continue to stay connected. Have them work together to do familiar activities, such as looking though photo albums or listening to the loved one’s favorite music. Visit the beach together and look for shells, in the early stages, as a fond memory that can endure. Encourage the child to show his/her love as often as possible, even when they are feeling frustrated. Just because a person with Alzheimer’s cannot remember faces, do not mean they will not feel kindness that is show to them.
There are plenty of child appropriate books and resources that teach about Alzheimer’s disease. Take advantage of them and turn this unfortunate time into a positive experience about being caring and understanding.
Even the most doting family members need a break every now and then. MAS Home Care specializes in dementia and Alzheimer’s care and offers respite services. Call MAS Home Care of Rhode Island at 401-312-1160.