Alzheimer's And Children: 3 Ways To Prepare Your Preschooler To Visit Grandma In Assisted Living

Children and their grandparents have a unique bond that benefits both generations, and preschoolers boost seniors' spirits with their lively personalities and inquisitive natures. However, it is hard for little ones to understand many of the symptoms of Alzheimer's disease, and you should also be sensitive to how dementia might affect your parent's ability to handle the boisterous personality of a young child. As you prepare for your visit, use these tips to make sure everyone enjoys their time together.

Talk To Your Child About What to Expect

Your preschooler may be old enough to remember their last visit with their grandparent, and it is important to make sure that they know that things may not be the same. If your parent is in the later stages of Alzheimer's, then let your child know that things such as forgetting their name are simply a part of the symptoms caused by the disease. This way, they are not upset if your loved one says something that is out of character.

Choose the Right Time For Your Visit

Seniors in assisted living thrive on routines that ensure they get all of their needs met throughout the day just like preschoolers. Talk to your loved one and their caregivers about the best time for visiting. Then, consider your preschoolers schedule and try to find a time when everyone will be well rested and fed. Typically, mid-morning or early afternoon works well for family visits that involve young children seeing their grandparent with Alzheimer's disease.

Plan Activities To Do Together

Having a few soothing activities planned ahead of time will help your preschooler bond with their grandparent while helping them to create beautiful memories. Check with the Alzheimer's care staff to find out what types of things your loved one enjoys doing, and see if you can involve your preschooler. For example, many seniors enjoy taking a walk around their community, or they may have a special game that they enjoy playing. You can also bring music, photo albums and books to enjoy together as a family.

The symptoms of Alzheimer's can be confusing for preschoolers who remember their grandparent's usual personality. However, a little preparation goes a long way toward overcoming potential challenges for your visit such as lapses in your loved one's memory. By letting your preschooler know what to expect and bringing fun, universal activities that people of all ages enjoy, you can turn this visit into an opportunity to draw your family closer together.