Relationships and Alzheimer's disease
When someone has Alzheimer's disease, it affects everyone in the family, including children and grandchildren. This resource list offers a selection of fiction and nonfiction books, articles, websites, and other materials that may help children and teenagers cope when a family member or friend has Alzheimer's. They can also help parents talk with their children about the disease.
When a family member has Alzheimer’s disease, it affects everyone in the family, including children and grandchildren. It’s important to talk to them about what is happening. How much and what kind of information you share depends on the child’s age and relationship to the person with Alzheimer’s.
When you learn that someone has Alzheimer’s disease, you may wonder when and how to tell your family and friends. You may be worried about how others will react to or treat the person. Realize that family and friends often sense that something is wrong before they are told. Alzheimer’s disease is hard to keep secret.
Holidays can be meaningful, enriching times for both the person with Alzheimer’s disease and his or her family. Maintaining or adapting family rituals and traditions helps all family members feel a sense of belonging and family identity. For a person with Alzheimer’s, this link with a familiar past is reassuring.
Alzheimer’s disease can cause changes in intimacy and sexuality in both a person with the disease and the caregiver. The person with Alzheimer’s may be stressed by the changes in his or her memory and behaviors. Fear, worry, depression, anger, and low self-esteem (how much the person likes himself or herself) are common. The person may become dependent and cling to you. He or she may not remember your life together and feelings toward one another. The person may even fall in love with someone else.