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Children and Teenagers

When a parent has a young onset dementia diagnosis, young children and teenagers are strongly affected by the illness of someone they love. While they are trying to cope with their own growing-up, they also have unanswered and scary questions:

What is happening to my Mom or Dad? Why is it happening? Will medicine make it better? Did I do something to cause them to be ill? Can this happen to me too? Could they die? Is there anything I can do to make things better? Who will be there to take care of me? Why is everyone so sad and angry? When will things be the way they once were?

When living with dementia, children and teens may feel many of these emotions within each day: Sadness, curiosity, confusion, frustration, guilty, resentful, afraid, jealous, worried, embarrassed, and overall anxiety.

Without a doubt, children and teens need information to be broken down, as well as guidance in how to deal with their complex emotions and how to navigate an ever-changing relationship with their loved one. YES! is equipped to provide such support for children and teenagers. One option to help in talking to children is to arrange a family meeting with our Child Life Specialist. Contact YES! to inquire about this resource.

The YES! Virtual Youth Support Group recently launched to support teens and high school students and takes place the 2nd Tuesday of each month at 6pm EST.

Resources for talking to children