Ask Sam letter


To Sam


I have found out that my nan has alzimeirs disease but my parents don't know that I have found out, what should I do? It's not the same when I see her! As I know I have to make the most of her while I can.
thank you xx
im 12
Ask Sam



Thank you for writing to me. It’s understandable that you are worried about what you have found out, and how this will affect your relationship with your nan. It is a worrying and upsetting time when someone we are close to becomes unwell and even more so when we feel that this illness may get worse. Maybe you could find ways to keep a record of happy memories, perhaps writing about things you have done together or collecting photos. It may help to think about how you would like to spend some time with your nan: doing things you have both always enjoyed or perhaps looking at new things to do together.

You could also look at the Health worries message board to see what experiences other young people have of coping with family members having health issues.

You have said that it’s not the same when you see your nan and it sounds like this is upsetting for you, especially as you want to make the most of time with her while you can. Alzheimer’s disease is something that usually affects older people and can mean that they forget things and find it hard to do some things. If you would like to find out more information on Alzheimer’s you could look on the Alzheimer’s Society website. You have not said how you get along with your parents, but as they don’t know what you have found out, you could have a think about letting them know that you have found out. If you feel unsure about talking to them another idea is to try writing down what you would like to tell them. If you have other adult family members that you trust perhaps you could think about talking to them. Many young people have told me that talking to someone has helped them to understand what is happening for them a little better and also to help them feel less alone with their problems.

If you’d like to talk through this before you decide what to do you could speak to a ChildLine counsellor online or on the phone, all calls are free and confidential and you only have to talk about what you want to talk about. I can hear you’re not sure what to do now, and if you do speak to a counsellor they will be able to talk to you about what you would like to happen, and what may help you to cope.

Take care


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