Explaining dementia to children: fact sheet
If you look hard enough you will come across a range of online resources that make the important task of explaining dementia to children a little easier. And if you have been tracking our project you’ll know that we are on a mission to add to the resources out there.
We thought you might like to view Alzheimer Society’s fact sheet – Explaining dementia to children and young people. It covers some brilliant basics for anyone looking for advice.
We particularly like their tips for approaching the conversation:
- Explain the situation as clearly and calmly as possible.
- Make the point more clearly by giving practical examples of behaviour that might seem strange, such as the person with dementia forgetting where they are or wearing a hat in bed.
- Focus on the things that the person can still do, as well as those that are becoming more difficult.
- Try to be patient. You may need to repeat your explanations on different occasions, depending on the age of the child or young person.
- Once you have set out the facts, encourage the child or young person to ask questions.
- Ask how the person’s illness makes the child or young person feel. Listen carefully to what they have to say and try to imagine the situation from their point of view so that you can find out exactly what might be worrying them.
- Give the child or young person plenty of reassurance and hugs, where appropriate.
- Don’t be afraid to use humour. It often helps if you can laugh about the situation together.
Good work team!
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