Alzheimer’s has affected my family very deeply. In the Spring of 2010, my husband lost his father to this disease. His mom was his father’s primary caregiver. She shared very little of what she experienced, but when she did share her deep love and compassion for her husband was evident.
Alzheimer’s doesn’t make sense to adults, so how can we explain it to kids? We can’t answer their questions about “how” and “why.” We can’t tell them that we won’t get it. We can’t tell them how to prevent it. We can’t tell them that there is medicine to take for it. What we can do is show them that we have the power in us to change some of these “can’ts” to “cans.”
My husband and I have hosted the Fayetteville Walk to End Alzheimer’s for the past two years. All four of our children have participated in this event. Last year, they wrote and performed a song about Alzheimer’s. They also made duct tape wallets, koozies and magnets and gave them away to people who made a small donation to the Alzheimer’s Association®.
We talk to them about how some of the money we raise goes to research that will help scientists better understand this disease and eventually find a cure. We talk about the caregivers who are able to attend support group meetings that help them better care for their loved ones. We explain that years ago people got sick and died from diseases that now have cures.
Really, children and adults want the same thing. They want hope. They want to make a difference. They want to feel like they are part of something bigger then themselves.
The Alzheimer’s Associations® created a video you can share with your children and teens to educate them about this disease.