Gramps is Acting Creepy
We began to see the changes before we had a grandchild. Those were glorious days of appropriate comments, empathy, and mostly the man we recognized. She came and we reveled in our time together. As she grew things changed subtly but change, they did. Now she is a wee person. A full-fledged “kid.” We live nearby and see her at least once a week.
In the last six months the granddaughter’s growth in empathy, in expression, has progressed while Gramps’s has regressed. What results is a lot of interpersonal drama—much like two children.
My granddaughter breezes by Gramps without acknowledging him when we do afterschool pick-up. Her excuse, Gramps is acting creepy again.
On the rare times my granddaughter and I are alone together, we talk about Gramps’ brain being different. Gramps being special. How do we do that?
With books about individuals with dementia. Books like Why Did Grandma Put Her Underwear in the Refrigerator by Max Wallack & Carolyn Given. Yes, the Max Wallack who created puzzles and then a puzzle foundation for his grandparent with dementia.
Or Weeds in Nana’s Garden by Kathryn Harrison.
All you need to do is an internet search for children’s books about dementia and you have a selection of at least 30 books. Most of them are for elementary level, but some are for teens like Newspaper Hats by Phil Cummings or Forget Me Not by Nancy Van Laan & Stephanie Graegin.
Remember discussing the birds and the bees? It was an awkward conversation, often assisted by a good book. Well, here we are faced with an even more difficult topic replete with grief over changes and loss. Let a book or two open the door.
Perhaps you have a child in your life who is confused by the changes your care partner is going through—consider using a book to open the conversation. It may take a trip to the library and a few reads on your own. Not all books on dementia are well written or capture the individual changes happening in your network.
Or consider register your favorite kid (kindergarten to sixth grade) for the Kids’ Memory Club virtually meeting on May 20th at 4 pm EST. We will be sharing Why Did Grandma Put Her Underwear in the Refrigerator by Max Wallack & Carolyn Given; having fun with it and sharing experiences. All facilitated by dementia care experts from Let’s Connect, Dementia Care Connections and Dr. Cate Dementia Coach.
It will give your favorite kid some sharing time with others living with dementia in their own social network. This disease impacts every single one of us. Our goal is to provide the clearest and most joyful journey we can manage—regardless of the age.
To register for Kids’ Memory Club simply join our Zoom Meeting:
Meeting ID: 884 8217 9297
Please note: A parent or responsible adult is encouraged to monitor each child they have registered. Photographs, audio recording, and/or visual recording of this session is strictly prohibited in order to protect the privacy of our underage participants.
Cate McCarty, PhD’s background in nursing, activities and admissions has given her a passionate commitment to quality of life for the individual and family with dementia. Her business is Dr. Cate, Dementia Coach. Cate is currently the care partner for her spouse who has early-stage dementia of the Alzheimer’s type.
Activities & Engagement
"I like that IMCC focuses on dementia-related problems and provides a focal point for families to network and socially interact in coping with dementia. It provides a community that helps us in our struggle."