If you are a child of someone with younger onset Alzheimer’s disease, know that you are not alone. Although each experience is unique to you and your loved one, here are some helpful thoughts from our group members.
Many young children in the Without Warning group have described their journey with a parent who has Alzheimer’s disease. They say is can feel like a roller coaster ride – some good times, some not so good, and times when things can feel out of control. All these feelings are very normal.
- Be ready for change. Don’t be surprised by it
- Still Dad or Mom but not the same. Can’t always go to him or her with questions and concerns
- Atmosphere at home is different. People might have mood swings
- Family dinners or holidays can be awkward and quieter
- Going out in public can be stressful. Might try to visit with people too much or do things that are strange or rude
- Hard to have friends over
- Hard to talk with friends about it because they do not understand of they are overly sympathetic
- Get closer to well parent
- Have a safe place that is your own. Sometimes it is nice to have a space separate from your parent.
- Find something the person likes to do like such as, music or scrapbooks
- Find something you like to do for times when you feel down such as, watch tv, journal, listen to music, go shopping, play a sport or hang out with friends
"Alzheimer’s is a disease that takes over a person and their loved one’s life. It’s kind of like a really slow moving tornado. The disease affects everything in its path. Alzheimer’s changed my life. It made me a much stronger person but it made me weak as well."
Clare ( at age 15)