The holidays are a wonderful time of year to celebrate with family and friends, but they can also be overwhelming, especially for those affected by dementia or Alzheimer’s.
Alzheimer’s disease is a common form of memory loss that typically occurs in seniors.
Blue Water Homecare offers personalized non-medical services to assist families whose loved ones are living with Alzheimer’s. We can help take care of day-to-day tasks in the home, provide companionship, or accompany clients to doctor’s appointments.
During the coming weeks when there are an abundance of social invitations, perhaps trips and travel, and celebrations to coordinate, people with Alzheimer’s can easily become anxious or confused with the added activities and disruptions to schedules—and so can their caregivers.
Here are ten helpful hints that our team of experienced caregivers shares to help both you, and the loved one you care for, make the most of this holiday season:
Alzheimer’s and Helpful Hints for the Holidays
- Set limitations and be selective about which events and activities you want to do. Try to be extremely conscious of not overcommitting.
- Be sure to schedule time for yourself to enjoy personal holiday favorites as well. Ask a trusted friend or other family member to look after your loved one so you can have these meaningful breaks like seeing a special performance or enjoying a meal and gift shopping with friends.
- Enlist them in your more simple holiday preparations like wrapping gifts, signing and sealing cards, or setting a festive table. These can be helpful tasks to you and may provide grounding comfort to your loved one if done in quiet repetition.
- For shorter visits with family and friends, designate start and end times to prevent you and your loved one from feeling overwhelmed with constant conversation. Try to schedule visits around their best time of the day, whether it’s in the morning or perhaps late afternoon following a restful nap.
- Share photos of visitors with your loved one to spark their memory, and reminders of the connection, prior to their visit to help prevent any confusion.
- Coordinate virtual visits (which are so easy to do now!) if travel to friends and family may be too complicated.
- Maintain their routine as close to normal as possible by slotting in events around regular activities (especially meals and sleep time). This will make the holidays much easier on both them and you.
- Offer quiet or comforting distractions during gatherings that may become overstimulating such as short walks outside, listening to music, watching a favorite show, or looking through picture books.
- Keep especially loud noises and bright lights to a minimum when decorating or playing music.
- Ensure clear walkways and passages through your home to prevent tripping or falling over packages, strands of lights, or holiday trees. Take time to show your loved one around the house after you’ve decorated so that they know they are still in their same safe and familiar surroundings.
It’s also a good idea to inform friends and family prior to visits of your loved one’s Alzheimer’s diagnosis, especially if it’s recent, or if their cognitive or physical abilities have changed drastically since last seeing each other.
Please contact us today to learn how Blue Water Homecare can help support you and your loved one during the busy holiday season or in the new year ahead.
Blue Water Homecare provides non-medical Home Care, Dementia Care, and a Parkinson’s Program for seniors (and their families) so they can safely and comfortably age in place. We also provide comprehensive comfort care through Blue Water Hospice.