With more than 5 million people today living with Alzheimer’s disease, it is becoming increasingly important for people of all ages to be aware of and informed about this devastating illness. Alzheimers is the sixth leading cause of death in the United States. Every 67 seconds, someone in the US is diagnosed with this condition, and the numbers only increase every year. There is no denying that Alzheimer’s disease is a serious condition and one that is difficult to talk about. However difficult, it is important that adults today create a dialogue with young people about the seriousness of this condition.
While it can be difficult to talk about, there are more than 15 million Alzheimer’s familial caregivers in the United States. Many of these individuals are children. Young people need to know about this condition, especially if their parents, grandparents or relatives receive a diagnosis. While it can be hard to talk to children about serious topics such as this, there are several approaches that can help make discussing Alzheimer’s easier for all parties involved.
Before sitting down to talk with a child about something as serious as Alzheimer’s disease, it is important to remember that children deal with feelings and reactions to situations much differently than adults. Children process things differently than adults do. Each child is different and will process this information in different ways. This is why it is so important to approach this talk slowly and with caution.