Helping Children Understand Alzheimer’s Disease

Cover of Book Helping Children Understand Alzheimer's Disease

I wrote this book with the goal of helping our children understand and cope with Alzheimer’s disease. As our future generation, children need to know the important role they play when their families, friends, and communities face this foreboding disease.

Alzheimer’s disease not only affects the life of the person with the diagnosis, but also the caregiver’s life and the family’s life. The one group we rarely think about is the lives of our precious children. They too are impacted when a parent, grandparent or relative is struggling with an incurable memory related condition.

Alzheimer’s disease is a family disease! Every family has a unique journey. And yes, every child in the family has a unique journey.

As the numbers of individuals with Alzheimer’s disease continues to grow, everyone’s life will be touched in some way including the lives of our children. Sheltering them from this reality by excluding them from conversations and by withholding knowledge about the disease is doing our children a great disservice. We want our children to live in knowledge rather than in fear and confusion.

At the same time, we need to know how to thoughtfully educate our children in a way we do not overwhelm, frighten, or traumatize them. To accomplish this, we must first educate ourselves. “Helping Children Understand Alzheimer’s Disease” addresses these issues and more.

Excerpts from Helping Children Understand Alzheimer's Disease

Book Helping Children Understand Alzheimer's Disease

.....I know my children never realized just how important they were to us and to Gramma during our journey. For Gramma, they were very special visitors. Even when she didn’t recognize them or know their names any more, she always realized there was a special bond between them.....

.....For us, our children were our sense of joy during a most unhappy time. How lucky we were that our children were thriving.....

.....It would be years later, I would learn there were many times our children had problems they wanted to share with us but would remain silent so as not to add to our stress or 'rock the boat'.....

Reviews of Helping Children Understand Alzheimer's Disease

“My grandfather has had Alzheimer’s almost since before I can remember. Recently he has gotten a lot worse. This has taken a toll on our whole family; we all end up sacrificing our free time to take care of him. Your experiences about that were extremely accurate, especially in regard to chapter 7. I see and feel much of the stress and anger you yourself have felt and wrote about. This book portrays so well so much of the struggles and hardship that Alzheimer’s causes, but it also shows how there are still many positive memories that can be gained.”

- Erick (age 15)

“Dear Chris, The book was very helpful for me, and will be for a lot more people. Also thank you so much for having me and Erick edit it. It was a really cool experience.”

- Tobey (age 12)

“I LOVE your book. It is easy to understand and places so much importance on RESPECT for all in such a loving way! I loved the forward by your son and have to say your honesty draws the reader in so that they will be honest with their own situation.”

- Pam (retired Metallurgical Engineer)

“I have finished your book and it is wonderful!! So much insight, so many great suggestions for working with children on this situation and acknowledgment of the difficulties involved in so many areas. You have done a great service in educating us re this awful disease and ways to deal with it.”

- Char (retired teacher and former caregiver)

“LOVED your book, you nailed it!...I think everyone should read it whether they are dealing with the problem or not. ”

- Doretta (former caregiver for 11 years and artist)

“I think the book is something more than the title stating 'Helping Children Understand Alzheimer’s Disease'. Reading between the lines it becomes apparent that to help children understand, you must first understand children. And the book shows that you certainly have a high degree of understanding and love for children. Everyone has heard the expression 'inner child', but I’ve never consciously thought much about it or tried to learn more about the concept. As I read certain portions, I began reflecting on things I learned or didn’t learn as a child. I think others who read the book will have similar reflections, sparked by different portions of the book which relate to their own personal backgrounds and experiences. I feel I now can think about, appreciate, and hopefully deal a bid more effectively with the remnants of the inner child that must still remain in me.”

- Joe (caregiver)

“Alzheimer’s Disease is a heartbreaking disease for caregivers and loved ones to navigate. The journey has just been made a bit easier with Chris Engelfried’s latest book, 'Helping Children Understand Alzheimer’s Disease.' It is a must read for anyone who wants to know more about the disease and its impact on loved ones and caregivers alike. Written in easy-to-understand language, readers can relate to many of the challenges discussed with realistic solutions and resources to make the rollercoaster ride a bit more manageable.”

- Theresa Fischette, White Light Communications

  • “Educational”
  • “Informative”
  • “Helpful”
  • “Healing”
  • “Emotional”
  • “Relatable”

- Comments from other adult readers and caregivers