Alzheimer’s affects everyone in the family. There are big and little caregivers, each able to make a significant difference in their own way. It’s the heart—not the size—that determines one’s capacity for doing, sharing, and helping. During times of upheaval and loss, families experience less stress when everyone involved has a valued part.
Communicating about difficult things, such as illness can be overwhelming for adults. Answering the questions and concerns of children can seem even more perplexing. It’s important to recognize that children are keenly aware. Even though their ability to voice their feelings may be limited, they experience the same emotions as adults. Hiding the truth from them doesn’t ease their concerns either. In fact, it often magnifies their concerns, causing self-blame and undue worry.
The Grandma they once knew may behave differently. She may say or do quirky things. She may blame them when she loses her wallet, again. Their Grandpa may be so overwhelmed that he loses sight of how to have fun. Despite the confusion, children easily bring a new perspective inside the battle with Alzheimer’s.
Their whimsical view of life is like a breath of fresh air. Frustrating moments are quickly forgotten as something else captures their attention. They quickly forgive and move on. When Grandma can’t play the way she used to, they seek other ways to connect: singing with her, putting a blanket over her lap, holding her hand, making her a card, or just giving her a big hug.
Children live in the moment. Their simple acts of great love demonstrate that they still see the Grandma they’ve always known—the one tucked beneath Alzheimer’s. Whimsical moments of inspiration with children are great lessons for adults. Embrace the attitude of the little caregivers; experience life through their eyes. Maintain faith, love and hope in life’s most difficult journeys. Huge Outcomes are Possible Everyday with HOPE—even in the midst of Alzheimer’s!
Today’s post is a throw-back – 1st shared on Leeza Gibbons’ blog in