Managing The Holiday Season While Caring For A Loved One With Alzheimer’s

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Preparing for the holidays and caring for a loved one with Alzheimer’s or dementia can become over whelming. 

Here are a few simple tips to help you manage the weeks ahead.

  • Consider what your loved one can do to assist with decorating or even baking, make sure and include them as much as possible. Observing you will familiarize him or her with the upcoming festivities. Participating with you may give the person the pleasure of helping and the fun of anticipating and reminiscing.


  • Adjust your expectations of yourself, the caregiver. Only agree to take on what you can reasonably manage, and ask for help. Holidays often come with traditions and expectations from family members, but try to ask for people to be flexible. Perhaps you can ask someone else to host the holiday gathering this year.


  • Let family and friends know what to expect if they haven’t seen the person with dementia in a few months or a year.


  • Even if it is difficult for other family members, encourage them to visit. Limit the number of visitors at any one time, or have a few people visit quietly with the person in a separate room.


  • Try to schedule only one activity or outing a day and allow the person to rest either before or after the event. If you have an especially busy day, plan for the next day to be one of rest and relaxation for both the person with dementia and you.


  • Since the person with dementia’s memory and conversation skills could be limited, try not to ask too many questions of him or her, especially those that begin with, “Do you remember…?”


  • When conversing with the person with dementia, discuss what is going on in the room in that moment or make statements such as “It is so nice to see you”; “I like what you are wearing”; “Can I get you something to eat?”


  • Create a quiet space that the person with dementia can retreat to if the gathering becomes over stimulating.


The next step beyond determining the care needs of a loved one, is determining how those care needs are going to be met. If you are a family caregiver currently supporting an aging parent with Alzheimer’s or dementia, it is important that you honestly assess your own needs and ability to help as well. It is easy to neglect your own needs and well-being, but inevitable that you find win-win solutions that protect the quality of life of both your aging parent and yourself.

If you’re considering how best to meet the needs of your loved one and looking for ways to find reprieve from the overwhelming responsibilities of Alzheimer’s care, Home Care Solutions is here to help, contact us at 504-828-0900



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