Tips for Celebrating the Holidays With a Senior With Alzheimer's
Dec 20, 2022
6 min read
The holidays are a special time of year. They're a time to celebrate with family and friends, enjoy good food and drink, give thanks for all that we have, and reflect on what we're thankful for. But if you're caring for someone with Alzheimer's disease or another form of dementia, it can be challenging to enjoy these celebrations.
These tips can help you have fun during the holidays and make it easier for everyone involved.
Simplify the celebrations.
Think of cutting things that require a lot of work and may overwhelm them. If some long-held traditions are too complicated, try modifying them or creating new ones. Try to avoid big crowds and too much noise. Simplify the festivities so you can focus on creating more joyful memories.
It's important to understand your caregiving situation and have realistic expectations about limitations, needs, and changes in behavior in your senior loved one.
Be ready to hear the same story multiple times.
You may be surprised when your loved one tells you the same story over and over. This is common, especially as dementia progresses. Your loved one may not remember telling you the story before, so don't get frustrated or try to get them to stop telling it. Instead of being annoyed by repeat stories, use this as an opportunity to look back at old photos or videos together while they share their memories with you.
Involve the person living with Alzheimer’s.
If the person is able, let them help with cooking, putting up decorations, etc. It will familiarize them with the celebration and create excitement for what's coming. Make sure they feel included! In addition to helping you kick off your holiday preparations and giving them something fun to do, this will also give you a chance to spend time together!
Set aside a quiet space for when it gets overwhelming.
The noise and distractions of the celebrations can be overstimulating to your loved one. If you notice your senior loved one getting agitated, set aside some time for calm activities.
Get out of the house for some fresh air and sunshine. Take a walk around the neighborhood or go to a nearby park.
Make a safe, quiet place they then go to when it all becomes too much. You can also plan a quiet activity like looking through photo albums, reading their favorite book, or putting on some soft music. Assure them that everything’s going to be okay.
Bonus tip: Be kind to yourself — you deserve care too!
While it’s important to spend quality time with your loved one, you must ensure that you don’t neglect yourself. After the holiday season, take a break from caregiving and spend some time on yourself. Taking care of yourself can help you care for your loved one better too.
We hope our tips help you make the holidays a little less stressful for yourself and the person living with Alzheimer’s. Remember that it’s not just about the big traditions but also about creating those simple moments of joy. With lots of patience and care, you’ll be able to have a wonderful holiday experience for yourself and your loved one!
If you need extra holiday support, you can turn to us. We’d love to help so you can take a break and focus more on family time. We have some excellent services to keep things running smoothly while you enjoy the season. Browse our website or call (844) 243-4246 to learn how we can help.
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