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How do grandchildren experience their grandparents’ Alzheimer’s disease? Qualitative study in Primary Health Care

Carrer de Bellaterra, 41, Cornellá de Llobregat, España


Nurse in charge: Maria Jesús Megido Badia


In today’s society, the bond between grandparents and grandchildren is especially relevant because, in many cases, it is the grandparents who actually take care of their grandchildren. The impact that diseases have on families is also a well-known fact. The main objective was to identify and analyze the knowledge, experiences, feelings and worries of children aged 6 to 13 in connection with their grandparents’ Alzheimer’s disease (AD). The methodology that was used was qualitative with a phenomenological perspective. Semi-conducted interviews were done to 25 grandchildren and 25 other interviews were open to their parents.

The conclusions are, among others, that grandchildren deem it beneficial to maintain their relationship with their grandparents in spite of the changes that take place in it, since they still love them. Among the positive feelings most commonly referred by the children in regards to their grandparents, the following stand out: affection, love and satisfaction from helping with their grandparents’ care. Sadness, worry and anger before the disease situation of the grandparents are the most common negative feelings among the grandchildren.

The repercussions in sleep were exclusively referred by the grandchildren who live with their grandparents. All of the participant grandchildren agree on the fact that they also take care of their grandparents, even the youngest ones, and they say so with great pride.

The inclusion of grandchildren in care plans for families and patients is the first necessary change to help not only the grandparents, but also the grandchildren and parents with whom they share the experience of this disease.

Carrer de Bellaterra, 41, Cornellá de Llobregat, España

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