How can I cope with my feelings?

Living with dementia can be very hard - not just for the person who is ill, but for their family and friends. When somebody in your family has dementia, it can change your life in many different ways.

It's normal to feel upset or angry, sometimes this can be very difficult to cope with. Here are some things you can do to help yourself feel better:

Talk about it

Don’t try to hide your feelings. Talk to someone you trust.

This can be hard when the person you’d like to talk to, like your parents or grandparents, is also finding things hard. You may worry that it might upset them to talk about dementia, or that they are too busy to talk. But they would much rather you talked to them than be upset and worried.

Some children find it helpful to speak to friends, or other people who know about dementia. If you can’t think of anyone you can talk to, visit the links page for ideas about where to get help and support.

Be around people that understand, being able to talk to people about it helps.

Be yourself

It’s normal to feel happy and to laugh, and to enjoy the other things that are happening in your life. Don’t feel bad about being yourself.

When things go wrong, remember that it’s not your fault. You didn’t do anything wrong.

Ask questions

If you see, hear, or read something that makes you feel worried, scared or upset, ask someone about it.

If they don’t know the answer themselves, they can help you to find somebody who does.

You can read about feelings and experiences that other children and young people have shared at the bottom of this page.

Find out more below:

Watching her fade away in front of my eyes made my heart break every time I saw her.


I feel horrid. Heartbroken. She can't treasure moments with me the way I can with her.


I feel sad because she doesn't remember my dad and me anymore.


Seeing the equipment the carers need to move her makes me sad. Sometimes I think Nanny has forgotten me and thinks that I'm my Mum (now crying thinking of this).


It makes me feel sad, because they are forgetting the people they love.


It's sad when I see my granddad because I remember how he used to be and my grannie has to work so hard to make sure that he is comfortable all the time.


This information was updated in November 2021 and is due for review in November 2023. Please contact us if you would like a version with references.