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How do I help children understand young onset dementia?

Children of any age need to understand dementia, how it affects their parent’s behaviour and what other changes to expect.  If your relative has children, be aware that their ages may affect how they react to the illness.  Children may become angry, pull away from their family, or because of embarrassment, pull away from their friends. They may be afraid that they will get the disease and younger children may fear that you will become ill. They may be carrying out responsibilities that were previously done by the person with dementia, i.e. looking after a younger child or doing chores.  Make time to talk about dementia to the children and listen to their feelings. Each child will have different needs – find out what they are and how you can meet them.

To provide help and a listening ear for younger people who have a parent with young onset dementia there is a free online support service called Kooth. Kooth provides discussion rooms for children and young people to share their challenges and a team of professionals who are there to listen. Go to to find out more.


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