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Kids & Teens
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Introduction

When a friend or family member has Alzheimer’s disease, you may feel upset, confused or scared. Alzheimer’s can be puzzling because a person who has it often doesn’t look sick.

Some people with early stage Alzheimer’s may forget words or not remember your name sometimes. Otherwise you may not notice too many changes. But, when you spend time with people with later stage Alzheimer’s, it is easy to see that something serious is going on. Some people with Alzheimer’s may cry, become angry very easily or behave in ways that embarrass you. Sometimes the person may not remember who you are, even if it is someone like a grandparent who knows you very well.

People with Alzheimer’s disease are not acting like this because they don’t care about you anymore. Changes deep inside their brains are destroying the centers that control remembering, thinking and feeling. They are losing their ability to make sense out of the world.

This page provides resources to help you learn about Alzheimer’s disease and understand how it affects you. It’s important to know that you are not alone. Alzheimer’s changes the lives of everyone it touches.

New Videos for Kids

Kids Look at Alzheimer’s Disease
Does someone in your family have Alzheimer’s disease?  Spend a few moments watching the videos below to learn about the disease and how kids like you are dealing with it. 

Part 1: What Is Alzheimer's Disease?
Maybe someone you know has Alzheimer’s disease but you don’t even know what it is! Watch this video to get the facts.

Part 2: What Can I Expect and How Can I Deal With It?
You may wonder about what the changes are that will come because of Alzheimer’s disease. Will things be different for you or your family? Watch this video to learn how you can keep talking and having fun with the person with Alzheimer’s.

Part 3: Is it Me or Is It the Disease?
Does it seem like the person you know with Alzheimer’s is changing? You’re right! Watch this video to find out more about those changes and how to talk about them with friends and family.

Part 4: How Can I Help and What’s Out There to Help Me?
There are lots of ways for kids to make a difference in the lives of those with Alzheimer’s disease and their families. Watch this video to find out what you can do to help.

New Videos for Teens

Teens Look at Alzheimer’s Disease
If you are on this site, you probably know someone – or know of someone – with Alzheimer’s. Take a look at the videos below to learn about the disease and hear about how other teens are coping with it.

Part 1: What Is Alzheimer's Disease?
Confused about the symptoms of Alzheimer’s and how it differs from dementia? Want to know more about the progression of the disease? Watch this video to get the facts.

Part 2: What Can I Expect and How Can I Deal With It?
You may have a family member with Alzheimer’s disease and wonder what the changes that come with the disease will mean for you and your family. Watch this video to learn how to make communication and connection with someone with Alzheimer’s disease easier for everyone.

Part 3: If the Person with Alzheimer’s Lives with Us, What Can I Expect?
It may seem like the person with Alzheimer’s is changing in ways that make your relationship different, but why? The answer is almost always that the disease is responsible for the changes, and keeping that in mind will allow you to cope with the situation more easily. Watch this video to learn more, and to explore making some changes of your own.

Part 4: How Can I Help and What’s Out There to Help Me?
There are lots of ways for people your age to make a difference in the lives of those with Alzheimer’s disease and their families. Start by talking openly about it and informing your peers. Watch this video to find out how you can help move us toward a world without Alzheimer’s.


Purple Week Project
Purple Week for Alzheimer’s
Watch the video and see what three young girls can do with an idea about teaching kids about Alzheimer’s disease and raising money for the cause. "Go Purple Week!!"
The Process and Working with Student Council
Julie’s three young daughters developed a “Purple Week” project with their school. Watch the video to get more information about the project and what it provided to the children and teachers.

How Alzheimer’s disease affects the brain

  • Your Brain: More Powerful than a Wizard, More Complex than a Computer
    Do you like Harry Potter? This article explores how your extraordinary brain power helps you read, understand and remember. It also explains how Alzheimer’s disease damages the brain.

  • Brain Tour
    What happens in the brain of a person with Alzheimer’s disease? This interactive tour explains how the brain works and how Alzheimer's affects it.

Resources

For parents and teachers

 Resources for Parents and Teachers (2 pages)
This document provides additional resources to help kids and teens understand and cope with Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias.

  After a Diagnosis of Alzheimer's: Gee's Story
Gee’s father has Alzheimer’s disease. Watch Gee talk about helping her children deal with her father’s disease.

 After a Diagnosis of Alzheimer's: Libby's Story
Libby has Alzheimer’s disease. See her talk about sharing the diagnosis with her grandson.

Talking with Kids and Teens
This web section provides parents with information on how to help kids and teens deal with the emotions and reactions that are common when a loved one is diagnosed with Alzheimer’s.

Printouts

 Just for Children: Helping You Understand Alzheimer’s Disease (2 pages)
This fact sheet will help you understand what is happening to a person with Alzheimer’s disease. It also explores how challenging it is to take care of someone who has Alzheimer’s. It includes puzzles and activities.

 Just for Teens: Helping You Understand Alzheimer’s Disease
This fact sheet will help you understand what is happening to a person with Alzheimer’s disease. It also explores how challenging it is to take care of someone who has Alzheimer’s.

Other Web sites

About Alzheimer’s disease

Alzheimer’s: The Tangled Brain
A special feature about Alzheimer’s disease that explores causes, current treatments, new medicines on the horizon and prevention. Includes illustrations, photographs, and medical images. Hosted by the Why Files, a large collection of online science features for students hosted by the graduate school of the University of Wisconsin at Madison.

Alzheimer’s Disease
A feature from the “Health Problems of Grown-Ups” section of KidsHealth.org that explains what Alzheimer’s disease is, how people know they have it, what the doctor will do to help, and what life is like for a person who has Alzheimer’s. Hosted by the Nemours Foundation, with all content reviewed by medical experts.

The Whole Brain Atlas
Medical images of healthy and sick brains. To see the images for Alzheimer’s disease, scroll down to the Degenerative Diseases section. Hosted by Harvard Medical School.

Brain Basics

Neuroscience for Kids
A site for all students and teachers who would like to learn about the science of the brain, nerve cells, and other parts of the nervous system. Includes links to other Internet resources, experiments and activities, and lists of books and articles. Visitors can sign up to receive a free “Neuroscience for Kids” e-mail newsletter. Hosted by a scientist at the University of Washington in Seattle.

Brainy Kids
This site features a large collection of links that explore a variety of science topics. The “Lab Links” section takes kids on a journey inside the brain for a closer look at its structure and function. The “Lesson Plans” section is geared toward students and teachers alike and contains resources for classroom activities. The site is hosted by the Dana Brain Alliance.

Bats, Brains, and Burying Grounds
A virtual visit to a “brain bank” that accepts donations of brains for scientific study after people die. From the Why Files, a large collection of online science features geared to students hosted by the graduate school of the University of Wisconsin at Madison.

What's Happening to Grandpa?
by Maria Shriver

Maria Shriver's children's book is about a
grandparent with Alzheimer's. A great resource
for explaining the disease to kids. $9.99

Learn how Maria Shriver is raising awareness




 

Alzheimer's Association

Our vision is a world without Alzheimer's
Formed in 1980, the Alzheimer's Association is the world's leading voluntary health organization in Alzheimer's care, support and research.