My 76 year old wife has moderate alzheimers. She's becomming more aggravated towards our 6 and 12 year old grand sons when we're all together. She'll yell at them, grab them, and yank things off of them. They are pulling away from her her. I'm afraid they will become afraid of her and not want to be around her and by virtue of that, me. Our daughters and I have tried to reason with her in regard to the kids but to no avail, she of course forgets what our concerns are. Changing the subject… read more
@A myALZteam Member I am sorry that the grandchildren cause so much confusion for your dear wife. There are a number of children’s books available (on Amazon( which help explain dementia to them. My grandson is six and I found several that were age-appropriate for him. He seems to be grasping the concept and is very solicitous of his grandfather when he comes to visit. Children understand so much more than we give them credit for. Perhaps if they are well informed about their grandmother’s condition, they may be able to help calm her.
It is sadly unlikely that your wife sees herself as their grandmother anymore, or understands what being a “grandmother” is. Our loved ones really thrive on predictability and routine and children tend to be as unpredictable as they come. Rationality becomes increasingly difficult and in some ways, they may adopt the emotions and enviornment around them. So what looks like normal play between brothers, with chatter and energy, may be overwhelming to your wife. Her behavior almost sounds like a “playground reaction” to frustration. Helping children to understand this disease and its effect on our loved ones is really difficult, and as the disease progresses, it may get harder. I feel like I am being a bit of a downer, but I say all this to say that while you can’t change what is happening to your wife, you may be able to work on creating an environment where she doesn’t feel anxious or stressed. Creating activities they can do together perhaps - coloring, sorting things, watching a television show. But you will need to figure out a way to help the boys understand that loud noises, running around, interruptions, etc, can be very difficult and that when your wife does have these outbursts, it is the disease, not her. That is a hard concept for children (and adults) of any age! Sending many hugs and lots of support as you handle this challenge!❤️
I agree with CER about the books. I bought one for our granddaughter.
I don't have a good suggestion to offer, but thinking diverting her attention may be your only answer. Is they something that was especially meaningful to your wife and the grandkids together? Have you tried those things? I can offer hugs to everyone and do.
in my experience, my LO was not comfortable around too many people. If it gets noisy, he's get upset. Noise in general was bad for him. One or two people was the most he could handle. But he was such a sweet person that we learned to not overwhelm him with too many people around him. It's the extra sensitivity they have about emotions; it tires them out. You may have to plan what company comes, and how long they stay. Short visits are best.
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