A Book to Help Teens Relate to a Loved One with Dementia


Disclosure: I was sent a digital copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

Does someone in your life have dementia? My father has Alzheimer's disease. This year has been even harder because of it. When the pandemic hit and everything shut down our lives all changed but especially my father's. His schedule was gone. The bus didn't come to pick him up for his day program three times a week. He didn't have his volunteer job at the Alzheimer's center anymore. He and my mother were home alone basically all the time. They are both 80 or older now. It was too dangerous to let them run their errands. My sister went to see them every weekend to run errands and give my mom a break. This summer while staying at the family house near them my family experienced the first time we knew my father had no idea who we were. He was spending the day with us and woke up from a nap and kept talking about wanting to see my mother by her first name. I couldn't calm him until I called my mother to come get him. It was heartbreaking for me. I was use to being called by one of my sisters' name--he has been doing that my whole life--but this time it was obvious he had no idea I was his daughter or that Hazel was his granddaughter. It is so hard to deal with for me and I can only imagine what it is like for Hazel. Today's book is to help teens and even tweens understand dementia and find ways to relate to the loved one with dementia. It is A Loved One with Dementia by Jean Rawitt. It is part of the Empowering You series

This book explains dementia, the types and the stages of it. It gives details about what it may look like to be with someone with dementia and then gives ways you can help the person. The first is by being there. It talks about everything from spending time with the loved one. (The book often goes back and forth with grandmother or grandfather as the loved one.) It even goes into details of what about if you need to help with personal times like bathroom or showers. I love that it goes into the feelings of the person with dementia and needing the help as well as the person giving the help. It gives suggestions to make such times easier as well. The book even goes through the death of the person and the grief, etc. It truly has all the details a teenager or tween going through life with a grandparent experiencing dementia would need. 

There is a section on how different family members will deal with the news and care differently as well as that some conversations may be for adults only. The information in this book is amazing for someone struggling through understanding the changes in one of the adults they looked up to all their life now struggling with the loss of their memory and more. I found it a worthwhile read for myself but knew it was even better for a young adult who wants to still connect with the loved one but also needs guidance for the grief and confusion he or she feels over the changes in their lives. This book is a must buy for families with young adults facing this as well as any guidance counselor in middle and high schools. I hope you will check it out.