How Families Affected by Alzheimer’s Can Prepare for Joyous Celebrations
While holiday celebrations are often joyous occasions, they can be challenging and stressful for the millions of families living with Alzheimer’s. Families and friends may be unsure of how to involve their loved one with Alzheimer’s in activities without overwhelming them (or others). With some planning and adjusted expectations, the holidays can still be joyous for everyone.
"We know that people living with Alzheimer's do better with familiar routines, " says Pam Myers, Program Director for the NWOhio Chapter " Keeping the celebrations simple with familiar holiday traditions will be easier for them and easier for their caregivers to manage".
Here are a few tips:
● Make sure others know:
Let guests know what to expect before they arrive and tell them how they can help. For example, what activities can they do with the person living with Alzheimer’s and how best to communicate with them.
● Build on traditions and memories:
Take time to experiment with new traditions that might be less stressful or a better fit with your caregiving responsibilities. For example, if evening confusion and agitation are a problem, turn your holiday dinner into a holiday lunch.
● Involve the person with Alzheimer’s:
Depending on abilities and preferences, make sure to keep the person with Alzheimer’s involved in the celebrations, such as packing cookies in tins or helping wrap gifts.
● Plan ahead:
When attending a holiday party, prepare the host for special needs, such as a quiet room for the person to rest in away from the noise and distractions.
The Alzheimer's Association is the world's leading voluntary health organization in Alzheimer care, support and research. Our mission is to eliminate Alzheimer's disease through the advancement of research; to provide and enhance care and support for all affected; and to reduce the risk of dementia through the promotion of brain health. Our vision is a world without Alzheimer's. For more information, visit www.alz.org.