Top Children's Books to Help Your Kids Understand Dementia and Alzheimer’s

Top Children's Books to Help Your Kids Understand Dementia and Alzheimer’s

A grandfather reading a book to his grandson.

August 18, 2022

A dementia or an Alzheimer's diagnosis is an incredibly tough situation for any family, but it can be especially difficult for children to grasp the concept of this disease and cope with their feelings in a healthy way. Even adults can certainly have a hard time understanding what a dementia diagnosis means, let alone a child—and it can be extremely hard to know how much you should tell them and how to explain things in a way that they’ll understand without causing distress. Sometimes, it’s best to use literature, words and imagery to elaborate on such a difficult topic with kids—which is why our team at Heather Glen Senior Living has put together a list of children’s books to help them understand what dementia is and how to cope. 

The Remember Balloons

For children between the ages of 4 and 8, The Remember Balloons by Jessie Oliveros and Dana Wulfekotte tells an amazing story about the importance of sharing valuable memories with your loved one while addressing the struggles of dementia. This book is a fantastic read that beautifully reflects the reality of a situation that many families face while shining a positive light. 

“James’s Grandpa has the best balloons because he has the best memories. He has balloons showing Dad when he was young and Grandma when they were married. Grandpa has balloons about camping and Aunt Nelle’s poor cow. Grandpa also has a silver balloon filled with the memory of a fishing trip he and James took together. But when Grandpa’s balloons begin to float away, James is heartbroken. No matter how hard he runs, James can’t catch them. One day, Grandpa lets go of the silver balloon—and he doesn’t even notice! Grandpa no longer has balloons of his own. But James has many more than before. It’s up to him to share those balloons, one by one.”

Granny Can’t Remember Me

Granny Can’t Remember Me by Susan McCormick and Timur Deberdeev is a heartfelt book for children with a significant underlying message. For kids ages 3 to 8, this book shows how Alzheimer’s disease does not diminish the powerful relationships between grandparents and grandchildren—and the impeccable writing and impactful imagery make it easy for children to understand what Alzheimer’s is and how it can affect them. 

“Granny Can’t Remember Me is a lighthearted picture book about Alzheimer’s disease and dementia told from the perspective of a six-year-old boy, appropriate for children in preschool through early elementary school. Granny can’t remember that Joey likes soccer and rockets and dogs. Granny can’t remember much of anything. But with Granny’s stories of her Three Best Days, Joey knows she loves him just the same.”

My Book About Brains, Change and Dementia

If you’re looking for a book that breaks down the ways in which the brain and behavior can change throughout the stages of dementia in a way that is easy for children to understand—then My Book About Brains, Change and Dementia by Lynda Moore is the perfect option. For ages 4 to 7, this thoughtfully-written book is honest about the struggles of dementia while remaining lighthearted and upbeat. 

“This friendly book explains the complex concepts of dementia, such as brain function, disease progression and death to preschool-aged children in a direct and age-appropriate way, as well as exploring children’s feelings about these issues. This book caters to children aged 4+ who have a loved one at any stage of dementia.”

Grandma and Me

Grandma and Me: A Kid’s Guide for Alzheimer’s and Dementia by Beatrice Tauber Price, Mary Ann Drummond and Julia Walther is a great book for ages 4 to 6 with beautiful illustrations to easily capture a child's attention and bring them into the story. The simple approach offered in this book and the grandmother-grandson relationship is an amazing way for children to be able to connect with loved ones suffering from this disease.

“Grandma and Me provides a gentle, yet age-appropriate description of Alzheimer’s disease, while providing tools that help children continue to have a relationship with their loved one despite the disease. Grandma and Me addresses a difficult topic with love and understanding and provides the tools for children to successfully navigate the journey ahead.”

Always My Grandpa

For ages 5 and up, Always My Grandpa: A Story for Children About Alzheimer’s Disease by Linda Scacco is an incredibly moving story about a young boy and his family as they experience the gradual, debilitating effects of his grandfather’s Alzheimer’s disease. The soft narrations and detailed illustrations make this book easily relatable for kids who have experienced the same situation—which helps them understand what dementia is and how it works. 

“Daniel learns that since Grandpa has Alzheimer’s disease, he will have trouble remembering all the things that belong to him-his clothes, his words, his memories—and eventually, his own grandson. Features gentle narrative and easy-to-understand explanations.”

Contact us

At Heather Glen Senior Living, we place the happiness and comfort of our residents and their families at the forefront of our mission—and our extensive expertise in caring for seniors with dementia provides them with the best care while providing you with the utmost peace of mind. When the time comes to move your loved one into a care community, our services can help you and your children feel at ease knowing your loved one is thriving in an environment that’s best for their health. If you’re interested in learning more about our top-rated memory care community with incredible visiting hours for your loved one to maintain their valuable relationships with everyone in the family, don’t hesitate to give us a call at (610) 841-4478 or fill out our online form today. 

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