1. Expert Q&A: Benefits - Weds 23 October, 3-4pm

    Our next expert Q&A will be on the topic of benefits. It will be hosted by Lauren from our Knowledge Services team. She'll be answering your questions on Wednesday 23 October between 3-4pm.

    You can either post your question >here< or email them to us at talkingpoint@alzheimers.org.uk and we'll be happy to ask them on your behalf.

  1. jellymac

    jellymac Registered User

    Nov 29, 2014
    63
    West Midlands
    Hi everyone.
    I wondered if anyone has any advice please. My eldest daughter, who is 7, got upset this morning about her nan (my mom, who has Alzheimer's) and said she feel like she doesn't love nanny anymore because she gets annoyed and frustrated with how my mom is now. Then she got even more upset saying she must be a horrible girl for feeling like this. I've tried to reassure her that there are lots of feelings that we are all going through and what she's feeling is normal. What's the best things to say, she knows the basic about Alzheimer's but I haven't wanted to say too much in case it scares her. My mom has deteriorated a lot in the last year and she is in the advance stages now.

    Thank you
     
  2. MrsMoose

    MrsMoose Registered User

    Oct 1, 2014
    152
    I think it must be hard for a child at that age to understand what is going on. I imagine the main feeling is fear.

    (My own daughter is a lot older.)

    Maybe keeping it fairly simple. Her grandmother is very ill. She's not going to get better. Illness is scary and people who are ill don't behave and act in the way that they used to.

    Perhaps we don't have to love people at that time - because so little of what there used to be is left. What we have to do is ensure that they are properly cared for and treated kindly.

    And maybe she should be encouraged to hold onto memories of her grandmother when she wasn't so ill, so that she can remember the more lovable person who is not so much there now.
     
  3. Cinder

    Cinder Registered User

    Dec 14, 2014
    66
    Oh it's so hard with little ones isn't it?
    Our eldest is 5 and has had increasingly negative interactions with granny over the last 18 months.
    She hit him a few times, once with her handbag, and she makes fun of him by mimicking in much the same way little children do. Add to this her offensive odour (not her fault, but unpleasant nonetheless), the time we all spend caring for her, the stream of professionals in and out of the house and the fact his brother moved in to share his bedroom to make space for granny - well, needless to say he doesn't really like her any more.
    I have gone down the lines of: granny's brain is sick. It will keep getting worse and she can't help it. It's ok not to like the disease, just remember it's not really her & she would behave differently if she were well.
    He asked me when she would get better and I went for the honest approach and explained that she wouldn't, she would keep getting slowly worse and that she would die.
    He understood the simple language and it has really helped him come to terms with it. He still finds it hard, and he still doesn't like granny! But at least he knows why. And also that it's ok to have difficult and confusing feelings towards granny.
    I wish I could offer more help.
    x



    Sent from my iPhone using Talking Point
     
  4. jellymac

    jellymac Registered User

    Nov 29, 2014
    63
    West Midlands
    Thank you so much MrsMoose and Cinder for replying, I really appreciate it. MrsMoose im not sure she remembers my mom too much as she used to be, she was 2 1/2 when my mom was 1st diagnosed, we have sat down and looked at photos and videos of the two of them together and she does like that. She is at school most of the time though when Im with/have my mom. My other daughter is only two and she just accepts nanny as nanny now is. Cinder I think i will just explain it like that , its hard to know how/what to say isnt it. Thank you.
     
  5. Cinder

    Cinder Registered User

    Dec 14, 2014
    66
    My youngest is 2 also & has only ever known granny as she is.
    It's really tough being sandwiched in the middle, trying to care for opposite generations!
    Good luck with your chat with your daughter. Let us know how it goes,



    Sent from my iPhone using Talking Point
     
  6. chick1962

    chick1962 Registered User

    Apr 3, 2014
    11,280
    Female
    near Folkestone
    My granddaughter is 5 and she loves her pop pops and I thought she didn't know anything about his dementia but when we all went out with them I ended up in a different car to my husband on the way home and my granddaughter got upset and said pop pops got to be with nanny and me or he does not know the way home because we look after him :)


    Sent from my iPhone using Talking Point
     
  7. Keepingup

    Keepingup Registered User

    Jul 13, 2015
    12
    Fortunately ours are older so they understand the issues, and have been supportive. Unfortunately time with Mum is no longer "quality time" all the time but there are still nice times and they can be understanding when she is in a fogetful state.

    My Aunt was my first experience (age 20) of someone with Alzheimers and it was a shock understanding how she was seeing a situation vs what was actually happening.
     
  8. dora

    dora Registered User

    Aug 1, 2007
    145
    England
  9. Keepingup

    Keepingup Registered User

    Jul 13, 2015
    12
  10. JayGun

    JayGun Registered User

    Jun 24, 2013
    298
    Yeah. This kind of thing is worth the licence fee by itself.
     
  11. JayGun

    JayGun Registered User

    Jun 24, 2013
    298
    I just wanted to say Jellymac, my children are 20 and 27 and they have exactly the same feelings as your little one - including the guilt for not liking Granny very much any more, plus resenting all the time she takes up, the stress and upset she causes etc. whilst they know it's not at all in any way her fault, their feelings are completely valid. Especially as in our case, my mother in law hasn't really changed her personality or become different, just a worse version of how she's always been without any positives any more to balance all the negatives. She doesn't even buy them presents at Christmas and birthday these days. :D

    My son (27) blew up at me the other day and said "When I ask you how you are you tell me how GRANNY is - do you you not have a life or a personality of your own any more?!" Apparently I don't. :(

    I think if my kids were little I'd tell them it's ok to feel like that. It is hard to be kind to granny when she's horrible to us, and of course it's scary when she shouts, but it's the grown ups' job to take care of Granny and not to worry too much about it.

    I often wonder if my kids are eyeing my husband and myself and wondering how long they've got before they'll be going through all this with US. At least the littleys probably don't worry about that as much.
     
  12. CeliaW

    CeliaW Registered User

    Jan 29, 2009
    5,655
    Hampshire
    I think, for explaining how you can feel about a lot of people, including but certainly not limited to, those with dementia, is that you love them but you don't always like them. Perhaps you could tell children that it's OK to not always like someone if, for example, being unwell makes them cross and snappy.
     
  13. MrsMoose

    MrsMoose Registered User

    Oct 1, 2014
    152
    In our house my daughter has - as she'd got into the latter part of her teens - become very good and patient with her grandfather. She smiles at him and answers his rather repetitive questions very kindly.

    She is slightly disapproving if - when he's not there - I say anything that shows impatience or which appears to be sending him up.

    But I think that's because she doesn't have the worry of trying to keep him safe and steering him towards sensible decisions. We do.
     
  14. jellymac

    jellymac Registered User

    Nov 29, 2014
    63
    West Midlands
    A big thank you to everyone who has took the time to reply, i really appreciate it. Izzy and Dora i'm definately going to have a look at those and sit with my daughter to read/watch them. Its so heart breaking, isnt it, i had such a wonderful time and relationship with my nans and always wanted that for my children but now thats not possible, i know if my mom hadnt developed Alzheimer's they would have had sleep overs, days out and all kinds of fun. It really does mean a lot for you all to give advice and help, again thank you.
     

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