When a grandparent moves into a care home

14 May 2024

by David Moore, Dementia Lead, MHA


I can still clearly recall the day when my grandad moved into a care home, even though it was more than 35 years ago. Nobody in our family talked about the reason behind it, and for many years, I believed that it was my fault. We didn't discuss the matter until many years later, and when we finally did, we realised that we had all been feeling guilty.

Back then, it was very different, and dementia was a bit of a taboo word. I know my parents were trying to protect me from what was happening to my grandad. Fortunately, he went to a wonderful care home, where he thrived while living there.  

This experience is why I am so passionate about talking to younger people about dementia and the reasons why people might need to move into a care home. Often children know so much more than we give them credit for. Trying to explain to a younger member of the family though can be difficult, especially when many people move into a care home during a period of crisis.  

Luckily now there is a breadth of books written to help children learn more about why a grandparent might need to move into a care home. As everyone is different, its important to find the right book that reflects the child's age and situation.  

MHA has recently published a book called Finding Nana, written by Jenni Bacon. The book is an illustrated fictional story that follows Ellie and her younger brother Jack as their nana moves into a care home.  

Finding Nana is a heartfelt story about loss, being honest about your fears and how love triumphs all.   

The book’s key features: 

  • Reassures children during the daunting experience of finding a special someone in a strange place 

  • Expresses some of the feelings a child may go through during an relative’s move into care 

  • Gives children understanding and support for encountering older people 

  • Offers summary questions helping children process what it’s like to live in a care home. 

Order your copy of Finding Nana

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