SHREVEPORT, La. (KTAL/KMSS) – A workshop for children who have a grandparent living with dementia will be hosted by The Bridge to help children understand the disease in a fun and creative way.

The Bridge Alzheimer’s & Dementia Resource Center is offering the workshop, called the “Grandchildren’s Workshop,” to kids ages six through twelve. During the workshop, children will be able to connect with other kids who are having similar experiences.

“Our goal, by offering this first-of-its-kind workshop in northwest Louisiana, is to help grandchildren understand a grandparent’s dementia,” Executive Director of The Bridge Alzheimer’s & Dementia Resource Center Paulette Freeman said.

Image of a child playing on toy aisle: KTAL files.

Freeman sees the workshop as an opportunity to help children understand the disease.

Children may remember grandma or grandpa who watched them, gave them snacks, and played games with them, but dementia can take those memories away from a grandparent and the experience can weigh heavily on a young child. At the workshop, children can learn it’s not their fault their grandparents have forgotten important events.

“Dementia affects the entire family, not just the one living with it,” stated Laura Gauthier, the organization’s program director. Laura is a licensed professional counselor and a certified dementia practitioner, and she wants families to know that this is The Bridge’s way of reaching out to the younger family members who are in need of some type of support.

Kids should bring five to six photographs of family members to create a craft they will later share with their grandparents. Lunch will be provided, but registration is required. Call The Bridge at 318-656-4800 to sign up for the class.

The workshop will be held at The Bridge, 851 Olive Street in Shreveport on Sept. 16 from 9 a.m. until 12:30 p.m.

If you would like more information about The Bridge, visit them online here or call (318) 656-4800.