Welcome back to book week! Each day of this week we’ll be looking at a different category of books related to Alzheimer’s Disease and dementia.
We’re kicking things off today with a look at books that aim to help children better understand and cope with how Alzheimer’s and dementia may be affecting their loved one or their family as a whole. Here are some of our top recommended books for young children:
In What’s Happening to Grandpa, the reader looks at Alzheimer’s through the eyes of a little girl named Kate. Kate has always adored her grandpa’s storytelling – but lately he’s been repeating the same stories again and again. One day, he even forgets Kate’s name. Her mother’s patient explanations open Kate’s eyes to what so many of the elderly must confront: Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of memory loss. Determined to support her grandfather, Kate explores ways to help him – and herself – cope by creating a photo album of their times together, memories that will remain in their hearts forever.
In Barbara Schnurbush’s book, Striped Shirts and Flowered Pants, a young girl named Libby learns how Alzheimer’s will ultimately effect her grandmother and discovers ways to handle her feelings and worries.
Singing with Momma Lou: Nine-year-old Tamika Jordan dreads visiting her grandmother at the nursing home. Momma Lou has Alzheimer’s and always forgets who Tamika is. But when Tamika’s father shows her Momma Lou’s scrapbooks, the young girl gets the idea of jogging Momma Lou’s memory. During each visit, she shows her grandmother memorabilia from the scrapbook: Momma Lou dressing Tamika like an angel for a Christmas pageant, marching in a civil rights demonstration, and singing “We Shall Overcome” with other jailed protesters. One day Momma Lou recognizes a newspaper clipping and leads everybody in a celebration of song.
Claire’s parents teach her facts about Alzheimer’s Disease. They don’t, however, pay much attention to how Claire is feeling about the changes in her grandmother’s behavior.Claire tells her friends silly stories about Grandma to make them laugh. Afterwards she feels guilty, gets in a fight and is grounded. While she is grounded, Claire realizes that Grandma, who was the best grandmother in the world before she developed Alzheimer’s Disease, is still the best grandmother in the world. Grandma’s Cobwebs helps children understand the physical and emotional aspects of Alzheimer’s Disease. Grandma’s Cobwebs, also, introduces the Three R’s of Alzheimer’s Disease: Relax, Remember and Respect. An educational supplement of questions and answers for children about Alzheimer’s Disease is included with Grandma’s Cobwebs.
For more ideas on books for children, contact the Alzheimer’s Association at: 1-800-272-3900.