One of the families I have been working with has a fifteen year old son. Since his grandmothers rapid change in mental status, she has been living with him and his family. Grandma is very angry and is saying and doing things that are not only disturbing to the adults, but that are having a huge impact on this young man. Prior to her decline, the relationship between Mark and his grandmother was very special. They saw each other on weekends, did things together, and he even confided in her when he didn’t think his parents “understood” him. This disease is hard for us to understand, nevertheless a 15 year old who feels he has also lost one of his best friends.
I was able to link Mark and his parents to the wonderful resources available through the Alzheimer’s Foundation of America – AFA TEENS program. Now that Grandma has been placed into an assisted living facility and Mark has learned a little bit more about the disease, he is more comfortable visiting her and establishing a new type of relationship.
To learn more, visit http://www.afateens.org