‘Grandma, what happened to Papa’s brain?’

BRAIN image with Alzheimer'sI had a problem explaining Alzheimer’s disease to our young grandchildren. After agonizing about how to go about this, I sat them down, and came up with the following:

Your papa has an illness called Alzheimer’s disease that makes him act the way he does. It’s like having a broken bone, but with Papa, a little piece of his brain is broken and doesn’t work the way it should. Because of this, he can’t remember what you told him yesterday. Because of this, he forgets how to use the television remote. Because of this, he falls asleep sometimes when you are telling him something important. Because of this, he forgets things as well as people’s names. BUT, the part of papa’s brain that is for loving, is still working well, and I know that he loves you all very much.

I have reblogged this as I received so many requests to do so. Whenever I read it, I get tears in my eyes when I remember the looks on the children’s faces during the above explanation.

2 thoughts on “‘Grandma, what happened to Papa’s brain?’

    1. Jill Post author

      Hi Michael,
      Thanks for commenting. It means a lot to me to know that what I write is appreciated. I am trying so hard to lessen the stigma associated with blame, shame, stigma and discrimination against people with brain illnesses. I had both paranoid schizophrenia and Alzheimer’s in my family.
      It’s all in my book David’s Story by Jill Sadowsky.
      Take care,


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