When someone you love is diagnosed with AD, you may struggle with how to tell other friends and friends about the disease. Obviously, you will be worried about how they react and how they will treat the person.
And while there is no single “right” way to talk about the disease, there are some things that you should think about as you are explaining the situation to friends and family.
Think About The Situation In Terms of the Following…
- Are others already wondering what is going on?
- Do you want to keep this type of private, family information to yourself?
- Are you embarrassed to bring it up in public?
- Are you looking to tell others so that you can get support from family and friends?
- Are you afraid that you will be a burden to others?
- Are you concerned that others will understand what you are going through?
Here’s something to remember as you consider this…most people will already realize that something is going on. They may not know what but people will know you are acting in a manner that is out of character for you.
Plus, Alzheimer’s is pretty tough to keep a secret. So when the time seems right, it would be best for you to tell the rest of the family and your friends…this way you can begin to build your support network. Because as an Alzheimer’s caregiver you are going to need all the help you can get.
Tips and Ideas
- Talk to those around you about the disease and its effects, not only upon the person diagnosed but on the caregiver as well.
- Give them ideas of books and websites where they can get more information about the disease and its effects on those involved.
- Tell them what they can do to help. You are going to need either breaks or some form of respite care…make sure to ask.
Help Others To Interact With The Person Afflicted With AD
This could be a little weird for concerned, but you might have to give those around you z brief tutorial on how to talk to the person afflicted with Alzheimer’s. For example…
- Explain to them what the afflicted is still capable of and how much they still understand. Visitors may not be aware of these limits, but with your guidance you will be able to make everyone more comfortable.
- Offer suggestions regarding the best way to communicate with the person afflicted with AD. As an example, ”Hello Julie, I am Tina. We used to play bridge?”
- Ask them not to correct the person with AD if they make a mistake or an error.
One tip that I have seen around chat rooms is that many caregivers will carry a card with them stating…
“My family member has Alzheimer’s Disease. He/she might say or do things that are unexpected. I am explaining this through the card so that they do not hear me mention this. Thank you for understanding.”
Helping Kids Understand Alzheimer’s
When a member of the family is diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, everyone is affected…even the children and grandchildren. And kids are not stupid. They will understand that something is wrong, even if they do not know the whole story.
What you device to tell them is really dependent upon their age and emotional maturity, as well as the relationship they have with the afflicted. And there are books out there that discuss Alzheimer’s and are written especially for kids. You might want to invest in one of them if you feel is right.
How To Help Kids Understand What Is Happening
- Answer their questions in as straight forward a fashion as possible. As an example, “Grandma is sick. And because of that she has problems remembering.”
- Make sure that the children know they did nothing to bring on the disease. A young child might accidentally think they were the cause of the disease. So make sure to reassure them that they had no part in it.
One area of concern would be if there are children that live in the house with the person suffering from Alzheimer’s. If that is the case, there are some important tips that caregivers need to put in place to make sure that the children are not only safe but also can continue to live their lives…
- Don’t ever expect the child to watch the person with AD. This is unsafe for both of them.
- Make sure the child has enough time for them self and still continues with their extracurricular activities like soccer, baseball, etc…(this is a great place for you to ask assistance of other family members)
- Make sure to spend enough time with your child so they do not feel neglected (another area where family can help)
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