Someone in your family has Alzheimer’s disease, and you’ve been gathering info on Alzheimer’s disease to try to help you make decisions about what to do next, but everything you find is so scientific and complicated. What can you tell your kids to make them understand why their grandfather or uncle doesn’t recognize them anymore? The info on Alzheimer’s disease below is aimed at children and families, so read it together.
What’s Going to Happen?
The person in your family with Alzheimer’s is probably going to start to forget things. He or she may also become angry, sad, or scared. This is because Alzheimer’s makes people feel confused, and it’s also part of the disease itself, so your loved one isn’t mad at you and isn’t crazy, this is part of the sickness. It will probably start out with little things, but eventually it will get worse.
Can I Catch It?
Alzheimer’s is not contagious, but most of the info on Alzheimer’s disease that is currently available suggests that it is genetic. This means that if people in your family have it, you are more likely to get it someday, too. Symptoms typically don’t incur until the individual is at least 65 years old, though, and even if someone in your family has it, that does not mean that you will have it too.
What Caused It?
We still don’t know what causes Alzheimer’s disease, but scientists and doctors are studying different things that may cause it, from genes to environmental factors like what you eat and breathe. It does not come from being near someone else who has it, and it is nobody’s fault.
What Can I Do to Help?
A lot of the info on Alzheimer’s disease suggests that people who spend a lot of time with their friends and family take longer to get really sick from the disease. This doesn’t mean the person is going to get better, or that it’s your job to save them, but just by being with someone and letting them know you love them, you are helping.
Where Can I Get More Info on Alzheimer’s Disease?
You can get a lot of info on Alzheimer’s disease at your public library and on the Internet. Check out some books on Alzheimer’s and read them together as a family. The more info on Alzheimer’s disease that you have, the less scary it will be, because you will know what to expect.
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