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Hannah Dawson

There are a lot of activities that high school students or anyone who has a loved one with Alzheimer’s can do to spend time with that person and show him or her that they care. Do the activities they used to love. For example, my grandma’s passion growing up was painting, so I try to paint with her as much as possible.

Hannah Dawson is 16 years old, and her grandmother, Marnie, has Alzheimer’s.

My grandma, Marnie, was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s in 2016. Alzheimer’s has changed her and learning to accept these changes has been difficult. My grandma was my “person,” and she taught me to be the woman I am today, which I am grateful for. I now realize that it is my turn to show her that I will be there for her through a difficult time. While some days are more difficult than others, she also has good days with moments of clarity that make it seem as if she is back to her normal self. Since I am only 16 years old, the only real advice I can offer is that you should take advantage of every moment you spend with your loved ones, in general, and when they are suffering. 

There are a lot of activities that high school students or anyone who has a loved one with Alzheimer’s can do to spend time with that person and to show him or her that they care:

  • Do the activities they used to love. For example, my grandma’s passion growing up was painting, so I try to paint with her as much as possible.
  • Look at photo albums with your loved one and pictures of when he or she was younger.
  • Watch all of your loved one’s favorite movies with him or her.
  • Go on a walk, and let your loved one talk about whatever he or she wants to discuss.
  • Spend time sitting with your loved one while having a cup of tea, and just talk.

There are also a few ways that high school students who have a loved one with Alzheimer’s can help their parents who are caregivers:

  • Listen to them, since what they are going through may not be more painful than what you are experiencing, but it may be more difficult.
  • Help them in whatever way you can, since they are probably having trouble trying to help their loved one on their own.

Remember to give your loved one with Alzheimer’s an extra hug, or tell the person you love him or her more than you ever have before; although your loved one may not seem to understand, inside, the person does, and needs to know how much you support him or her.

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