Unlike many other dementias, FTD often affects people in middle age, or even younger, meaning that it is likely that there will still be children at home. When any parent faces a serious illness, their children need support and understanding. Particularly in the case of a degenerative brain disease, the young person’s development proceeds in the opposite direction to their ill parent’s. What this means to a young person will change and evolve over time.
It is important to help the young person manage and understand the disease they are witnessing in their parent. Children are very perceptive. They are likely to be confused by the symptoms of this disease in a parent or family member, and without being given factual information they may fill the gaps in their knowledge with their imagination or with incorrect facts. It is therefore very important to facilitate conversation, provide information and allow for emotions and feelings to be discussed.
There are several links which provide helpful information in respect of providing young people with the information and opportunities for discussion that they need.
The links are not all FTD specific, but provide information that is transferable and relevant:
- Understanding dementia: a guide for young people (pdf). Also available through Alzheimer Scotland: Action on Dementia (Tel 0808 808 3000)
- What about the kids? [The Association for Frontotemporal Degeneration]
- Young Carers [Carers Trust]
- Information for Young Carers [NHS]
- Information for parents and teens [When Dementia is in the House]
- Living with Alzheimer's - just for kids and teens [Alzheimer's Association]
The Milk's in the Oven (pdf)