Families caring for loved ones with dementia often find the holidays especially challenging, but with a little planning these celebrations can be fun and enjoyable for everyone.
The Alzheimer’s Association offers the following suggestions to help family caregivers:
- Let others know of the situation.
- Talk with family and friends ahead of time about what to expect from their loved one with dementia. This will prepare them on how to interact and communicate positively.
- Adjust expectations.
- Call a meeting to discuss upcoming events and who will be doing what. Make sure everyone knows the caregiver’s situation and has realistic expectations about what that person can do.
- If you are the caregiver, allow yourself to do what you realistically can do. Instead of hosting a big event, host several smaller ones or let others do the hosting this year.
- Involve the person with dementia.
- Build on past traditions, singing Christmas carols together, making cookies, looking at photo albums of family events in the past.
- Involve the person with Alzheimer’s in preparations as much as they are able. Let them help wrap presents or stir cookies dough, set the table, whatever their ability may be.
- Keep to a regular routine.
- Adapt gift giving.
- Give gifts that would be useful or meaningful to someone with Alzheimer’s or their caregivers. Visit the Alzheimer’s Association for ideas.
- Give respite care to someone caring for a loved one with Alzheimer’s.
- For A Family member living in a facility –
- Think about joining your loved one in any facility-planned holiday activities.
- Bring a favorite food to share with everyone.
- Read a favorite Christmas story to the residents.
Aspen Senior Care is a personal care agency that provides respite care for families caring for loved ones in their homes. We specialize in dementia care and are available to help 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Visit our website at aspenseniorcare.com and our Facebook page to find out more about the services we offer.