Alzheimer's and Dementia

Speaking to Children and Teens about Alzheimer's Disease

This session is intended for Caregivers, Professionals, Members of the General Public

Finding out that someone close to you has Alzheimer’s disease and coping with this progressive illness can be distressing for anyone.

The children and grand-children of people with Alzheimer’s disease are also touched by the disease and children and teenagers can find it particularly difficult. Young people may feel neglected or resentful as parents devote more time to looking after a grandparent. Younger children may be frightened by the behaviours that they observe in the person with the disease. ‘Why does Grandma call me by my mother’s name?` ‘Why doesn’t Grandpa take me into his workshop any more?` Some young people may ask questions while others may refuse or make up excuses not to visit their grandparents. The situation becomes even more complicated if the person with the dementia is the parent. In this case, the young person often becomes a caregiver in many ways. Roles may be reversed, adding to the unease. Families touched by dementia are affected in numerous and often unexpected ways.

It is natural to want to protect children and young people from upsetting and confusing situations. However, explaining the situation can be a great stress reducer for all concerned.

In this webinar we will propose ways to speak and how to listen to young people, how to encourage the expression of feelings, as well as examining potential strategies for interaction.

A Live Chat will follow this presentation from 1pm to 2pm (EDT).

You can join the chat here:

  1. Teresa E. Anuza B.A., M.A. – Cognitive Psychology Coordinator – Educational Services Coordonnatrice – Services Éducatifs Alzheimer Society of Montreal With a professional background that encompasses the development of social and community projects in both the public and private sector, Teresa Anuza is currently the Coordinator of Educational Services at the Alzheimer Society of Montreal where she is responsible for the development and delivery of conferences for the public and for institutes of higher learning as well as training workshops for the professional health care community. She has represented the Society on numerous occasions at professional speaking engagements and community and media events. In addition, Ms. Anuza is responsible for the training of staff and volunteers for programs such as the Speaker’s Bureau and for raising the awareness of local security forces on safety issues and Alzheimer’s disease and the MedicAlert ® program. Ms. Anuza also continues to provide counselling for caregivers in an individual or support group setting.