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How do I prepare mom's grandchild for the changes in mom?

Gracey hasn't seen her Grandma in a year. Grandma has dementia and has changed a lot. She wears out quickly and is scared of showing the illness. She desperately wants to see her granddaughter but I don't want this to be a disaster.
Status: Open    Jun 06, 2016 - 09:16 AM

Relationships, Dementia

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Expert Answers

Jun 07, 2016 - 08:31 AM

Trying to explain dementia to a child is definitely a delicate subject. One of the things I recommend to the family members of my patients for this exact question is to read a book about it. One of my favorites is the book"Weeds in Nana's Garden" by Kathryn Harrison. You can check out her website here: weedsinnanasgarden.com.

It is a great way to have a discussion about the topic in a more natural way and talk about how it relates to your family. At the end of the book, it has a section that answers kid's questions about dementia, which is also quite helpful for the direct questions kids have.

Best of luck

Source: www.weedsinnanasgarden.com

Comments (2) | New Comment

By rbasgall on Jun 07, 2016 - 01:28 PM | Like (0)  |  Report

Thanks! This looks very helpful.

R

By pamkirkwi on Jun 11, 2016 - 07:18 AM | Like (0)  |  Report

This will be easier for your daughter to grasp and deal with than it is for you. Just let her know that Grandma has an illness that makes her thinking work differently than it used to. Let her know that she will be mostly the same as your daughter remembers her, but she will be a little different too. Tell your daughter that Grandma gets tired more easily and may say somethings that are a little goofy because of her illness. Then let your daughter know she can still play with and talk to her just like before. Most kids will just let the oddities of earlier dementia just pass by. See, this is harder for you because you will see all these symptoms as a harbinger of what is to come. Your daughter will not project forward. She will just experience the now. Let that be.

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Voted Best Answer

Jun 07, 2016 - 08:31 AM

Trying to explain dementia to a child is definitely a delicate subject. One of the things I recommend to the family members of my patients for this exact question is to read a book about it. One of my favorites is the book"Weeds in Nana's Garden" by Kathryn Harrison. You can check out her website here: weedsinnanasgarden.com.

It is a great way to have a discussion about the topic in a more natural way and talk about how it relates to your family. At the end of the book, it has a section that answers kid's questions about dementia, which is also quite helpful for the direct questions kids have.

Best of luck

Source: www.weedsinnanasgarden.com

Comments (2) | New Comment

By rbasgall on Jun 07, 2016 - 01:28 PM | Like (0)  |  Report

Thanks! This looks very helpful.

R

By pamkirkwi on Jun 11, 2016 - 07:18 AM | Like (0)  |  Report

This will be easier for your daughter to grasp and deal with than it is for you. Just let her know that Grandma has an illness that makes her thinking work differently than it used to. Let her know that she will be mostly the same as your daughter remembers her, but she will be a little different too. Tell your daughter that Grandma gets tired more easily and may say somethings that are a little goofy because of her illness. Then let your daughter know she can still play with and talk to her just like before. Most kids will just let the oddities of earlier dementia just pass by. See, this is harder for you because you will see all these symptoms as a harbinger of what is to come. Your daughter will not project forward. She will just experience the now. Let that be.

Add New Comment

Answers

Jun 08, 2016 - 08:35 AM

You don't say how old Gracey is, but I think you've already answered your own question beautifully: "You haven't seen Grandma in a year. Grandma has dementia and has changed a lot. She wears out quickly and is scared of showing the illness. She very much wants to see you..." and then add, 'would you like to go for a short visit?' and see where it goes. Be sure to keep the visit brief, notice the child's emotions during the visit, and talk about it after: Let her tell you if it was difficult; don't assume it is. Ask a simple question later in the day like, 'How was it seeing Grandma?' and acknowledge her observations. I hope the visit goes well.
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