Children’s Books and Alzheimers

“Mommy, why didn’t Grandpa remember my doll? Amelia? He called her Beatrice!”

“Well, honey, Grandpa just . . . forgets things sometimes. That’s all.”

The child absentmindedly strokes her doll’s hair, pondering the strange utterances that spun from her Grandfather’s lips. She is trying to piece together the pieces of a strange puzzle, while the Mother’s mind is like a jackrabbit, bouncing around from issues like compassion, loss, the attempt to protect childlike innocence, honesty.

It’s difficult to live, let alone explain some of the medical issues that arise from old age. Alzheimers, dementia, and other diseases are hard to imagine for adults, let alone children. While many families try to sweep encounters and strange behavior under the rug, others want to engage their children in a safe but forthcoming manner. Thankfully, in recent months a number of children’s books have swept the market on the subject of Children and Alzheimers. Not all are thorough or compelling, but there are a few of pedagogic value with engaging storylines. These also open the door for future media on the subject with the eventual goal of combining comprehensiveness and literary merit.