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When I was pregnant with my youngest my Mom was diagnosed with dementia. Since she was not safe on her own my mother moved out of state to live with my sister. Once my son was born I brought him to visit my Mom and subsequently she came to stay with us a couple of times after this. Each time my Mom held my son and it gave her great joy. While she couldn't articulate everything she wanted to say she was clearly thrilled to meet and hold her grandson. Of course we took precauations like having her seated with pillows around her but I am SO glad we did it.
As far as telling your child that they can't stay with Gma anymore. My MIL was diagnosed with dementia when the same child was 9. Since my FIL was capable we were able to continue letting him stay with her and ease him into the knowledge that Gma would not be able to handle this situation anymore.
Of course each child is different and every parent has to gauge what is best for their own child. Good luck!
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You know, I misread your original question. I thought you wanted to leave children with your loved one wihle you were gone. As far as holding the baby, I would hate to take that feeling and experience away from your Mom. There is nothing as wonderful as holding a baby, and it's very good therapy too. I do think that as long as you are right beside her the whole time to watch for the first sign of any problems, that it would be fine. However, I would not turn my back or eyes from her for even a second. But I think you know that already. =)

I know that they often give baby dolls to people in Alzheimer's units to hold and it brings them comfort and peace. The disease is such a horrible thing - my own mother is in a nursing home because I was no longer able to care for her. If you can bring your mother a little bit of happiness safely, no matter how brief and even if she can't remember, I say to do it. My heart truly goes out to you on this. I hope my advice makes sense. I do believe if you are right beside her ready to take over in an instant, that you could let her hold the baby.
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Robert, I'm with you. I guess the question is up for interpretation. I didn't see it stated anywhere that a person with Alz was going to babysit. I thought it meant can an Alz patient hold the child and/or be in the same area if they aren't aggressive or a threat. I still think with supervision, it's ok. I liken it to my 8 yr old granddaughter wanting to hold her 10 mo old cousin. With supervision and a very watchful eye, we allow her to do so. She feels on top of the world, probably just like the above mentioned Alz patiet would. My granddaughter can't cook or do complex problems but she can hold a baby.
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FEAR - I don't understand the fear I see in a lot of these comments. Maybe my experience with Alzheimer's is different, but I sense a fear of the unknown, rather than comments of actual poor/bad experiences with actual situations.

How does being forgetful, speaking slower, moving slower, wandering or being unable to do math, cook and other complex functions (these being the Alzheimer's symptoms of my dad and most other persons with AD) make them any kind of threat to young kids?

Are commenters really expressing a fear of exposing kids to basically a somewhat mentally-challenged/disabled person that is the issue?
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yes I think u know the answer too..........Its just easier to hear it from a few different sources, it makes us feel better and less guilty..........dont do what I do, I take on all the pressure of the world n my shoulders, and feel so so guilty, and let others influence the way I feel, but noone can make me feel anyway, I feel the way I do because I choose too, usually not good choices, my emotions sometimes (most of the time) leave me feeling shitty and unworthy, and I also have a very serious problem of needing peoples approval, especially mom, which is so so unhealthy! My self -esteem is shot! But I am so working on it now at therapy, but everytime I go, to see my best friend who is a therapist she tells me just what I need to hear! NOT WHAT I WANT TO HEAR!!! which always has me thinking how I can work on changing things about myself that I dont like!!!! It helps to bounce stuff off others at times! try it, it works!
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I just have to add - if you gotta aski, then the answer is obviously no.
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That should have been my niece, my MIL's granddaughter, had a baby in Dec. '09.

...but it depends on the person with AD and if the person, who doesn't have the disease, thinks whether or not it's okay for the person with AD
to handle the baby. Take precautions if you do decide it is okay.
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My niece, my MIL's great-granddaughter, had a baby in Dec. '08. The girl that my MIL used to babysit for had a daughter in Sept. '08.

As long as there is someone watching how the person, who has Alzheimer's, interacts with the baby (have that person sit right next to him/her) so if anything happens, the baby can be safe at all times.

My MIL, as long as she was sitting in a chair with pillows all around her and someone watching her and the baby, fed the ggd and sang to it.
If it had been me, I would have been hesitant to put the baby in her arms.
...but my SIL, the baby's grandmother, put pillows all around her and baby
and she was fine. Now as for changing baby's diapers, no, that responsibility goes to someone younger. She got to hold the girl's baby (the girl that is like a daughter to her), only for a short time.

Now, if you know they aren't having a good day, then I definitely would say no. Let the mother keep the baby in her arms while ggm or whatever relation she happens to be, plays with him/her.

If the baby is wiggly, I would definitely say no.
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Yes I think they ( the person with Alzheimer's disease) should be able to see their grandchildren or great grandchildren. However I would not leave my grandchild in the care of someone with alzheimer's disease. I think it is important to use your best judgement in the situation. Knowing that folks with alzheimer's disease lose their skills as they learned them, and that they often become childlike I would be very careful...
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SAFE - I guess I read the question a bit differently than others. If the question is whether a young child and baby are safe around a person with Alzheimer's, for example in the living room with them, then I resoundingly say YES it is safe.

The questioner mentions the person has never shown any abusive type of behavior. So one must consider each case differently.

I can say that my nephew 9 y.o. and niece 7 y.o. had absolutely no problem playing in the living room with my 85 y.o. father with Alzheimer's sitting on the lounger, reading his paper, snoozing, or drifting off. Occasionally, he would wander over to see what they were doing, and vice versa. Mom or other adults were either in the living room or kitchen adjacent.

They knew he was forgetful, not so talkative, etc., and actually dealt with it better than most adults. They just accepted and accommodated him as needed. The only problem I can recall is when grandpa kept taking photos of my niece playing (we figure it was his coping mechanism to remember), and she got irritated by it. But mom talked to her about being patient and understanding, a teachable moment as they say.

Alzheimer's is not contagious, it doesn't automatically mean violent or abusive behavior, and it's not scary if understood. There is enough discrimination in this world, let's not let ignorance add another category.

If the question is whether a person with Alzheimer's should take care of and supervise kids, then clearly that is no.
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LAMBERT:

Well, you got your answer. Better safe than sorry, don't you think?
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the key word is "with supervision" - I'd let grandma hold a great grandbaby if I was standing right there adn could help if needed. Leave her in charge, or alone -agreed, no way.
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talk to the doctor, but since alzheimers is sometimes unpredictable, I just wouldnt take the risk............supervised is another whole thing, with an adult present, kids have a way of pressing normal people's buttons, so u never know, just keep them safe and u safe, and unfortunately I am not a doctor, but even if the doctor says its ok I still wouldnt rish it,,,,,,,,,,,,my grandpa had it, and it was tough, for us all to watch daily things getting diferent, and not knowing what next to expect!!! Hang in there sweetie, and please keep u and the kids safe as possible, and dont forget to pray to your higher power!!!
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AlwaysMyDuty's aunt sounds just like my Mom. Their experience is just what I hope and think would happen. With due diligence I think we'll give it a try. We'll ensure neither of them comes to harm or grief. Thank you all for being here to answer questions. Alz is such an unknown world and all help is so valuable.
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pablambert, if you supervise and you're on the sofa or the like, why can't she hold the baby? Obviously you'd have to sit with her and be ready if things took another turn, but I think she'd love to hold the baby. My aunt had Alz and carried a baby doll with her all the time. She was a very gentle, sweet woman and once in awhile, her sons would let her hold the grandbabies. The smile on her face was priceless!
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Thank you so much for your responses. I did not plan to have Mom care fo them ... just interact. I know she would love to hold the baby, 3 months, but I'm nervous about it. I do appreciate the sound advice though; I might have thought it would be OK just for a minute until your wise counsel.
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I read it too, that the child and Alz patient would be supervised and agree with hevnbnd. Children love my mother, even though she can't remember their names, she'll call them sweetheart or princess and they give her hugs and they both feel special. It's unconditional love and everyone needs it.

Also depends on the people involved, some kids are scared of old people and sometimes elderly people are nervous around kids.
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Maybe I'm not reading this correctly but, Isn't pablambert asking if it's OK to have children and babies around someone with alzheimers? Young ones have a way of making alzheimers patients feel happy and playful, the child loves the attention and the patient is happy to get their attention--it's a win win situation. Of course if I'm mistaken and the question is can a alzheimers patient watch/supervise a child or baby I agree with everyone else "NO". My 3 yr old grandson loves to hold my mother in laws hand when we are outside, he thinks he is taking care of her and she feels like she is taking care of him. He points out flowers, trees, bugs, whatever he sees, if she wants to go up the drive to the front he tells her 'no Grandmama, we can't go to the that way". She will turn around and come back. They are both happy and I can just sit and watch.
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Hi again--it appears the links did not appear--however the subject matter did-and can be brought up if you type it in your browser.

Once again-good wishes~~

Hap
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I have downloaded some links on this type of situation--and hope it will be of value~~
Growing up with Grandparents: Making Your Parents Part of Your Child's Life
Gramma's Game
Getting Behind the Eyes of Your Child
Check out our Article Library.
Talk about it!
Best to you and your family,
Hap
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Just one more thing ... it really does depend on the child! However, babies are definitely not a good idea in my opinion.
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I would say No also... you do not want to take any chances...J
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I would have to say no as well. The disease of dementia is so hard to pin down ... it's hard to know what memory loss will occur and when it will occur. It could become very dangerous very quickly and it only takes a split second for your life to completely change. I know it's tough to not be able to trust your loved one, but I think that even your loved one would agree if he or she was able to comprehend what is happening. No one would want to put a child in danger. Good luck to you. My heart goes out to you.
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Who is taking care of whom? I'd rather leave a second grader keeping an eye on the Alz patient...to give out a shout if the real caregiver is needed (ie, is out in the backyard mowing the lawn, etc.)

And you don't say what stage of Alzheimer's obviously.
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I definitely would say no. Even the slightest forgetfulness could endanger a baby or young child. Please do not leave one with a cognitively impaired adult of any age!
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