Alzheimer’s disease and dementia affect millions of people across the world today. Which means that it also affects millions of children: children who have to watch their loved ones go through the debilitating effects of this disease. It may be very confusing for kids, as they wonder what’s happening and if it’s something that could happen to them too. Here are six books that will help children understand Alzheimer’s, how it works, and what it means for them.
- Remember Me….Remember Me Not by Carma Lee Weisbrook. In this story, Jodi’s grandma develops Alzheimer’s disease and Jodi feels scared and unsure about it. The nurses and doctors help explain it to her and make her feel better.
- Grandma by Jessica Shepherd. Told in diary form, this is the story of a little girl whose Grandma has to go into assisted care due to Alzheimer’s disease.
- What’s Happening to Grandpa? by Sandra Speidel. Kate’s grandfather develops Alzheimer’s disease and she feels scared and unsure about what it means. But in an attempt to support him and cope, Kate creates a photo album of their time together.
- Weeds in Nana’s Garden by Kathryn Harrison. This story of a girl and her grandma with Alzheimer’s disease also includes a Q&A for children at the end.
- Striped Shirts and Flowered Pants by Barbara Schnurbush. This book helps children understand how Alzheimer’s disease will ultimately change older people they are close to, such as their grandparents, and provides hints for parents to provide ways that they can help their children handle their feelings and worries.
- Flowers for Grandpa Dan by Connie McIntyre. Another story of a child and her grandfather, and the lessons learned along the way.
Stories help children process real-life events that may be scary, traumatic, or just confusing. Reading them stories that relate to things happening in their lives is one way to start discussions, answer questions, and help them understand why life is changing.