Talking to Your Children about Their Grandparent's Alzheimer's Disease

Elder Care in Duluth GA

September is Alzheimer’s Month. This month is the ideal opportunity for you to take the time to focus on the impact that Alzheimer’s disease can have on your elderly parent, but also on you and Elder-Care-in-Duluth-GAothers in your parent’s life. One set of people who can be particularly impacted is your children. Helping them to understand what your parent is going through and your role as their caregiver is a vital part of making sure that your parent gets the highest quality of life possible as they age in place and progress through their disease, while also protecting your children from stress, fear, and other reactions to this experience.


Use these tips to help you talk to your children about their grandparent’s Alzheimer’s disease diagnosis:

  • Make sure they know they will not catch it. Many children, especially young children, immediately think of something being contagious when they think of “illness” or “being sick”. Make sure that your children understand that Alzheimer’s disease is not the type of sickness that they can catch and that you are safe while taking care of your parent.
  • Give examples. When explaining to your children how Alzheimer’s disease works and how it can impact your parent, give them examples. Do not just say things like “an older person may forget things”. Instead, say “remember when Grandma called twice on the same day and didn’t remember she had called the first time?” This will help your children have concrete connection with the impact.
  • Answer their questions. Children tend to be very curious and may be more inquisitive into the disease and its impact than you may expect. Do not discourage them from finding out a much as they can. Instead, welcome their questions and answer them in the best way possible. If you cannot answer them properly, research with your children or bring them to talk to your parent’s doctor. Information will help your parent feel more secure and in control of the situation rather than confused and afraid.


If your aging parent has recently been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease, now may be the ideal time for you to consider starting elder care for them. An elderly home care services provider can be in the home with your aging parent on the schedule that works for your parent and for you so that your loved one can get the level of care, support, and assistance that they need whether you are able to be with them or not. Having a care provider can also help your parent to maintain a greater sense of independence and autonomy even as they progress through this disease. This is vital to not only supporting better mental and emotional health, but also to helping to preserve cognitive functioning for longer. When it comes to your children and their experience as your parent is moving through their progression with Alzheimer’s disease, having a care provider in the home with your parent gives you more time to focus on your children. This lets them feel secure and comforted while you still know that your parent is getting what they need.


The staff at Home Care Matters is available to talk with you and your family about all of your needs. Home Care Matters is a home care agency providing quality and affordable elder care in Duluth, GA and the surrounding areas. Call (678) 828-2195 for more information.

Valerie Darling, Founder, Owner
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