My grandmother is 94 years old. She has dementia and in my opinion it has been going on for a very long time but she knows how to "shut it off" when around other people besides her close family. It is very strange. Although recently, over the past few weeks, she has been very delusional thinking things that are not true are complete reality, being extremely mean and saying things that just make no sense. I have a 10 year old son and a 13 year old daughter. Never mind myself having to try and understand this and can anyone give me advice on how to explain it to my children. She has yet to act out in front of them yet but I know it is coming and they are going to be afraid and not know what to do. I don't know what to do, I know I cannot not tell what she is thinking is wrong because it is her "reality", I kind of understand it but it hurts at the same time because I love her so very much and I feel like she doesn't love me anymore. Anyway, off of me for the moment, I need to know if I should explain what may happen to my children before it does or wait until it does and then talk to them? I feel like either way I do it they are going to be afraid no matter what. Please help me. Thank you very much in advance.

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Unless your children have been completely isolated from your Gramma, they know more already than you think they do. Explaining that she has a disease and that her brain is not working correctly may come as a relief to them because it will explain what they have noticed. They are at ages that can comprehend this.

Of course it hurts that she is mean to you now. Cherish your memories of her when she was able to show her love. That was the real her.

It is also OK to say to your kids, "I don't know why the disease does this to her. It makes me very sad. But I know that she loves us, and I think about all the good times from the past."
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Cookie, on this website there are a lot of very good articles regarding Alzheimer's/Dementia.... and scroll down to the list of articles. You will find a few that relate to what your grandmother is going through.

Linda above had an excellent post on how intuitive her children were to what her Dad was going through. I thought that was great.
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Thank you very much! I will talk to them about it so they know what may happen in front of them. I appreciate your story and I thank you so very much for the advice.

She has been tested for UTI's constantly and doesn't have one.

And thank you for letting me know she still loves me but just can't show it the way she used to. I just get scared because she is so horribly mean and says things she would have never ever said before....just really hurts.
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My kids were elementary school age when my dad was diagnosed with AD. We explained to them that Gpa had an illness that caused him to forget things and could have him acting a bit differently than Gpa did before. We told them that sometimes not being able to remember or to find the right words was frustrating to him and probably a bit unnerving to him as well. It made him anxious and fearful of ordinary things like getting into a car. We explained that we didn't correct him if he said something not true and we had to remember that he might repeat things. They were young and inclined to roll with the flow, so they soon figured out things. If Gpa stood in the room, just looking around, my son would mention going to the bathroom, would turn on the light and when Dad entered, son would close the door. They took their cues from how we handled Dad's behavior.

There are probably some good things they could read. Your kids are old enough to be helped to understand that Gma can't really control this, that her being different now is the disease talking. The interesting bonus was that when they later interacted with kids with various disabilities, they were very comfortable and exhibited such kindness.

Also, UTI's can really create havoc in elderly women - just a thought.

And yes, Gma still loves you. She just can't let you know the way she used to.
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