Preparing Your Loved One with Alzheimer’s for the Upcoming Holidays
With all the excitement and joy that the holidays bring, it can also be a stressful time. It can be especially stressful for those with Alzheimer’s disease or dementia.
Here are a few useful tips to help ensure the holidays are not overwhelming:
- Pull out the photo album and talk about the people who will be coming to visit during the holidays.
- Familiar holiday music and holiday foodswill help your loved one feel more at ease.
- Utilize your loved one in as many preparations as possible. Engage him or her in helping get things ready (decorating, table setting, simple food preparation).
- Name tags are a wonderful idea! They not only help those with Alzheimers or dementia, but can also be helpful to new inlaws and younger children. This would be another task that your loved one could help with.
- Face it … the holidays can get noisy and overwhelming. Create a place where your loved one can retreat when necessary for a little bit of quiet time. Be sure and ask someone familiar to stay with your loved one so he or she doesn’t feel abandoned.
- Plan ahead and have a few distractions ready just in case unforeseen behaviors occurs (e.g. arrange a centerpiece, shine silverware, fill nutcups, etc.).
Family caregivers … don’t forget to do a few things for yourself.
- Be sure and take regular breaks (research the possibility of in-home care during the holidays or for part of them. It will give you a break and will also enable you to enjoy the holidays with a little less stress).
Look ahead and set boundaries for what you can and can’t do.
You’ll have lots of family around. Utilize their help.
- If you aren’t a member of a caregiver support group, join one! You’ll get great support and tips.
- Give yourself a pat on the back for your devotion as a careg-iver and buy yourself something special.
Quite often, time spent with aging parents during the holidays raises concerns with adult children about their parent’s health and safety in the home. If you are an adult child and are worried about your aging parent, please contact Scottsdale Home Care Assistance for information about in-home care services. We can provide an in-home assessment to determine the needs of your parent. (480 499-4944)