If a loved one is suffering from Alzheimer’s or another dementia-related disease, you may need to lower your expectations of what to expect from them during the holidays. When you include them in family gatherings, you must take precautions to not let them get over stimulated as boisterous, noisy activities can agitate and confuse people with dementia. Experts say it is better to have a small get-together or to set aside a quiet part of the house where relatives can take turns visiting the person in a more intimate setting.
The goal is to make the holiday season as easy on you as it is on the person with Alzheimer's so everyone can focus on enjoying their time together. The Alzheimer’s Association recommends that you keep plans simple and maintain your loved one’s daily routines as much as possible to avoid upsetting them. They also advise celebrating early in the day and to have a noon meal rather than a late dinner.
If you are visiting your loved one at a memory care facility, bring along some pictures of the family and take the time to quietly sit and talk about them. If you are bringing your loved one to your home, play familiar music and serve foods you know they like. Set time aside to do some activities with the family such as making a memory book or telling stories. Other suggestions include taking a short walk or decorating cookies together.
Be sure to warn family members and friends about any changes in their behavior and condition so they do not expect more than the person has the ability to offer. Remind them that Alzheimer’s can diminish a person’s ability to communicate and that it is helpful to speak slowly and in a relaxed tone. The Alzheimer’s Association says to avoid saying things like, “Don’t you remember?” Also address the person by name and to be patient, stay calm and supportive.
MorningStar at Bear Creek is a loving memory care community that provides expert care to those suffering from Alzheimer’s or other types of dementia. Please visit our website to learn more about our community.
MorningStar at Bear Creek is a memory care community that uses progressive methods to palliate symptoms and revive joy. Our foundation is built on honoring God, valuing our seniors and hiring staff with a felt calling to serve, and is devoted to creating a true home for residents within a serene setting. Please contact us to schedule a visit to experience firsthand our loving community.
MorningStar Senior Living’s distinct mission statement “to honor, to serve, to invest” sets us apart from other senior living options. Our foundation is built on honoring God, valuing our seniors and hiring staff with a felt calling to serve.