The holiday season can cause mixed feelings for a family affected by Alzheimer’s disease or other dementia.
While typically a time for celebration, families may experience a sense of loss for the way things used to be. For caregivers, the holidays may create added work. You’ll also have to consider the needs of the person with dementia during holiday decorating and gatherings.
Here are a few tips:
Create a safe and calm space by avoiding blinking lights or large decorative displays that can cause confusion.
Familiar or favorite holiday music may be enjoyable, however, be sure to adjust the volume to be relaxing and not distressing. If you are having guests over, provide a quiet place for the person with dementia to have time alone or to visit with one person at a time.
Let guests know ahead of time about any changes in behavior or memory since their last visit. Providing a recent photo can help people prepare for changes in appearance. Most importantly, if you are the caregiver, ask a family member or friend to give you a break so that you can enjoy a holiday outing without caregiving responsibilities.