How do you explain to an 8-year-old that they can no longer stay with grandma because she has Alzheimer's and it's not safe?

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I don't think I would emphasize the "it's not safe" aspect. It is pretty scary to think that your beloved grandma might do something that would hurt you. I think that explaining the disease in terms that the child can understand is important. Remind the child of times they've been sick. It was not their fault and it was not something they wanted to happen. It is nobody's fault that grandma has this sickness. But because she is sick she can't do all the things she used to be able to do. They can still visit grandma with you or another adult. And they can write letters and draw pictures for grandma. Emphasize that everyone still loves grandma very much
Thanks, Jeanne. This was a issue for me this week and I realized I had never thought about what to tell a child why staying with grandma was no longer an option.
I would say to keep it simple. Kids understand being sick, so make it about that. You don't have to go into the gritty details about the horrors of Alz. cause it's not necessary at 8 years old. But that doesn't mean that they can NEVER see grandma again, just not stay over ever again. Grandma's just too sick and not herself anymore.
Tell the unvarnished truth. Are there kids books that deal with explaining Alzheimer's to a child? If there are not, there should be. Tell the child everything, in words he/she will understand, and make sure you are understood. This is a fact of life there will be no shielding the child from. It isn't anything shameful.

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