There’s a new website to help kids and teens who have a parent afflicted with frontotemporal dementia. Many of these cases result from genetic disorders that can strike at an early age. That means young children are sometimes placed in the unenviable position of watching a parent slip away mentally.
Tiffany Chow, a neurologist at Baycrest in Toronto, has been the driving force behind the online resource called “When Dementia is in the House.” She observed that most support services are focused on the adult caregivers of dementia patients – while little attention is given to the children. “These are horribly traumatic things that these kids are surviving without necessarily having someone to talk to about it,” said Dr. Chow.
The website lets kids know they are not alone and suggests who they can turn to for help. As well, it emphasizes they have “a right to have a childhood, to go to school and to participate in extracurricular activities,” said Dr. Chow.
The website is managed by the Halifax-based Canadian Dementia Knowledge Translation Network and can be found at lifeandminds.ca/whendementiaisinthehouse.