MTPR

Kids Like You And Me: When Alzheimer's Moves Into The Family

Jul 6, 2018

Today's show is different from other episodes of "Kids Like You And Me:" Annie gets some help from Betta and Harry, who are members of the Health Occupations Students of America Club at Missoula's Big Sky High School. They created a project to help young kids who have a relative living with dementia.

The symptoms of Alzheimer's disease can be confusing to a child, so Betta and Harry decided to help educate kids about why a grown-up might start repeating questions, forgetting things, and losing the ability to do easy tasks, like eating or dressing.

Betta reads the book, "Wilfrid Gordon McDonald Partridge," by Mem Fox, and talks with six-year-old Carla, whose great-grandmother has Alzheimer's. Does her great-grandma forget things? Yes -"like how old I am, and what grade I'm in, and what school I go to."

Next, Annie talks with Dr. Dick Blank, who looked after his wife on her "Alzheimer's journey." "We as a family need to remember the person grandmother was, and love the person she IS. I think that love is the most important bond in this thing."  

Betta wraps up the episode by reading the book, "The Memory Box," by Mary Bahr.

Listen to this installment of "Kids Like You And Me" on "The Pea Green Boat" Friday, July 6, 2018, between 4:00 - 4:55pm.

Pea Green Boat provides a unique and nurturing place to hear stories about how it feels to be excluded, mocked, and bullied because you’re different, in color or ability – or how it feels to be accepted despite those differences. 

What does Montana’s limited ethnic and cultural diversity mean to the social development of the state’s children? Nearly 90% of Montana’s children have little reason to learn, to think, or to act beyond their individual experience as a member of the majority. Episodes in the Kids Like You and Me series can help build empathy and teach compassion and acceptance. The program can also be a resource for parents, caregivers, and teachers to help begin and moderate relevant conversations.

Funding for this episode of Kids Like You and Me was provided by Rural Institute for Inclusive Communities at the University of Montana. The RIIC provides services, training, and research that supports the independence, inclusion, and participation of people with disabilities.