Watching a loved one with Alzheimer’s disease drift away can be devastating, and for young children, this turn of events is often punctuated by confusion. But a new book called “Why Can’t Grandma Remember My Name?” aims to help youngsters better understand the incurable neurodegenerative condition through art.
“[The book is] made up of kindergarten art and juxtaposed to art done by Alzheimer’s patients,” author Kent Karosen, president of the Fisher Center for Alzheimer’s Research Foundation, recently told FoxNews.com’s Dr. Manny Alvarez during an appearance on Health Talk. “So it kind of … explains, or book-ends … life.”
Along with artwork, Karosen’s new book features questions from real-life children and answers from patients who have firsthand experience with Alzheimer’s.
Art therapy has proven beneficial for people living with Alzheimer’s and other dementias by stimulating the brain, memories and even language that had been lost in some patients. For patients who can no longer communicate verbally, creating or viewing art can serve as a form of expression and in some cases boost cognitive function, according to research published in the Canadian Journal of Neurological Sciences.
The Alzheimer’s Association estimates 5.4 million Americans suffer from Alzheimer’s, but experts believe the disease objectively affects about 20 million people when considering patients’ loved ones as well, Karosen explained.
“I felt that it was necessary to provide something to parents whose [children’s] grandparents have Alzheimer’s, and I thought it would be helpful to them,” he said.
For more information, visit AlzInfo.org.