Saturday, July 31, 2010

Alzheimer’s and Children

Taking children to visit those with Alzheimer’s disease is a valuable learning experience for the young ones and a great kindness for the older ones. Health care professionals say older patients respond positively, even joyfully, to the presence of children. And children are naturally more willing to accept people who tend to forget or confuse names and places. Children will listen to old stories and not be made uncomfortable by what older people see as disconnected ramblings. However, parents need to prepare their children for such visits. Here are a few little lessons for children (and, for that matter, adults) to learn before visiting.
➤ Say your name when you arrive and whenever asked, no matter how often.
➤ Speak slowly and clearly.
➤ Smile.
➤ Give hugs and hold hands.
➤ Be calm and gentle.
➤ Be ready to sing a song or tell a story.

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