Raising kids in general, even when the parents are healthy, is a difficult task as it involvesa lot of time and effort; thus raising them while coping with Alzheimer’s disease presents severalchallenges. These challenges may include how the Alzheimer’s patient will ensure his personalsafety as well as the safety of his children; how to explain to them that they may develop thedisease later in life; and how to cope with the mental and emotional stress brought about bychanges in the way the family works once symptoms of the disease begin to show.Though there are no set rules on how parents should raise their children, experts on thefield agree on some broad principles, namely: preparation for the parenting role, prediction of how negative things happen in the parent-child relationship and avoiding them, planning and practicing positive interactions, and learning to thank, appreciate, and praise children.
When a person who has Alzheimer’s disease has to raise children the above principlesstill apply. But studies have shown that the children of people who have Alzheimer’s diseasetend to be sad, afraid, angry, and resentful; not necessarily toward the parent with Alzheimer’sdisease but to their current situation in general. They feel sad for themselves and the parent withAlzheimer’s disease, they fear the embarrassment that a parent with Alzheimer’s disease may bring, they are angry that they must adjust to things that most of their friends and peers do notexperience, and they are resentful because they cannot do certain things (like invite people over and have house-parties) because of a family member with Alzheimer’s disease.
Therefore the parent with Alzheimer’s disease on the early stages must make steps to address these issues,ensure that the children have a strong emotional support system, and must show patience andunderstanding toward them and what they are going through.