When a person is diagnosed with dementia, it can affect the whole family and be especially confusing for children. Children and young people will need time to adjust and help to understand the implications. Nevertheless, visits from family members can be a source of comfort for those living with dementia by creating a sense of familiarity and security.
We have paired up with a private school in Somerset to share tips on visiting grandparents who are living with dementia.
Dementia often affects people’s ability to communicate, making it difficult for them to follow a conversation. Many also struggle with finding the right words or repeat themselves.
When your child is talking to their grandparent, make sure that they are aware of this and are patient. Displaying annoyance or talking in a patronising way can be hurtful and cause more frustration. This might involve talking louder and slower while giving plenty of time for their grandparent to respond.
Dementia can be scary for a child that doesn’t understand what it is and the extent of it. If your child is old enough to understand, explain this to them in a way that makes sense to them. Explain that the brain is the control centre for the body and all its functions and dementia is an illness that slowly takes away this control. There are many online resources and books available to help children better understand such as Lovely Old Lion by Julia Jarman.
Encourage the child to ask questions and try to find out if they are worried about a particular aspect of dementia. Talk about thing things that the person with dementia can still do, as well as those that are becoming more difficult.
Just because a grandparent is living with dementia, doesn’t mean that they can’t be fun. Your child can still spend quality time with them so long as they understand their condition. They may enjoy a game such as dominos, snap or reading a book together. Before making plans, always consult with a caregiver to determine whether an activity will be too challenging.
Country Court are dedicated to providing the very highest standards of dementia care and support. Our care homes have been designed to meet the needs of those living with a variety of conditions including dementia. To find out more about living with dementia in a Country Court Care Home contact us on 01733 571 951.