How to Teach Children and Teens About Cognitive Decline
What is Cognitive Decline?
- Sadness about changes in a loved one’s personality and behavior.
- Curiosity about how people get the disease.
- Frustration and guilt about having to repeat activities or responses.
- Uncertainty about how to behave around their loved one.
- Embarrassment to have friends or other visitors to the house.
- Withdrawal from their loved one emotionally.
- Poor performance at school.
- Feelings of physical pain, such as a headache or stomachache.
How to Talk About Cognitive Decline With Children
How to Talk About Cognitive Decline with Teens
Helping Children and Teens Find Additional Support and Information
- The Alzheimer’s Association offers a resource page on virtual support groups and chat rooms for those seeking support about cognitive decline. There is a page dedicated to kids and teens about dementia.
- Teacher and guidance counselors can also use the public health curriculum on Alzheimer’s, an introductory curriculum by the Alzheimer’s Association that addresses cognitive health. They also offer specific information for parents and teachers.
- The Alzheimer’s Society has a list of recommended books for children about dementia. Helping children understand what is happening through fictional characters can be one way of educating them.
- Alzheimer’s Association: An organization focused on Alzheimer’s and dementia-related education, helping reduce risk and maximize care.
- Alzheimer’s Foundation of America: An organization that supports and educates individuals, families and caregivers affected by Alzheimer’s disease.
- American Association for Caregiving Youth: A nonprofit serving people who are caregivers, family caregivers, and those homebound.
- Alzheimer’s Organization: An organization dedicated to research, news reports on Alzheimer’s, and awareness on treatment and prevention.
- Dementia Society of America: A charity providing education and local resources to those impacted by dementia.
- A Quick Look At Alzheimer’s Disease: A short video explaining Alzheimer’s Disease focused on reducing stigma and improving care.
- What is Alzheimer’s: A video to help teens understand this disease.
- What Can I Expect and How Can I Deal with It?: Part two of the What is Alzheimer’s video for teens.
- If the Person with Alzheimer’s Lives with Us, What Can I Expect?: Part three of the What is Alzheimer’s video for teens.
- How Can I Help and What’s Out There to Help Me?: Part four of the What is Alzheimer’s video for teens.
- Is It Me or the Disease?: A video about kids looking at Alzheimer’s disease that can help children understand the disease.
- How Can I Help and What’s Out There to Help Me?: A video for kids about various resources for help supporting those with cognitive decline.
- Hi, My name is Brittany: A video depicting the story of a girl whose mother has early onset Alzheimer’s disease.
- Caregiver/Storyteller: A podcast about Alzheimer’s and dementia caregiving.
- CDC Podcasts and Videos: Dementia-related podcasts and videos recommended by the CDC.
- Daughterhood: A podcast about being a daughter caring for a parent with cognitive decline.
- Fading Memories: A podcast episode about talking to kids about dementia.
- The Forgetting: A podcast that discusses and demystifies cognitive decline.
- Common Questions: Questions about cognitive decline that children might ask parents or teachers.
- Helping Children Understand Alzheimer’s Disease: A National Institutes of Health article about caregiving for Alzheimer’s and discussing the disease with children.
- Explaining dementia to children and young people: A piece by the United Kingdom’s Alzheimer’s Society about talking about cognitive decline with young people.
- 50 Activities: A list of activities by the Alzheimer’s Association for young people to do with their loved ones experiencing cognitive decline.