How to Celebrate the Holidays with A Loved One Who Has Alzheimer’s
This season, many families are wondering how to celebrate the holidays with a loved one who has Alzheimer’s. With some planning and managed expectations, your family can have a joyous and memorable holiday season.
The holiday season is filled with traditions. From baking cookies to decorating the house, these familiar traditions with family and friends should not have to change due to dementia. While these traditions bring joy and cheer, it is also important to set your loved one with memory loss up for success.
It is important to make sure everyone who will be gathering for the holidays understands that your loved one is experiencing memory loss. Perhaps it is time to update friends and family about stage information and what changes they can expect. An email or letter may be the easiest way to communicate with several people at once, and it allows you to provide links to helpful information and resources such as the Alzheimer’s Association (alz.com) and ParcProvence.com.
Make sure the holiday plans are reasonable. You may need to scale back from previous years. Consider a smaller guest list, allow others to contribute more help, and think about hosting the gathering somewhere that can take care of preparations, food, and clean up for you. If your loved one lives in an assisted living or memory care community, think about participating in any holiday parties or activities they may have planned for residents and guests. At Parc Provence, our holiday parties are some of our favorite events of the year. We can even accommodate our residents’ family gatherings with advance notice; contact us if you would like more information about this service.
Time It Right
Timing is important. May people who have Alzheimer’s and other types of dementia experience sundowner’s syndrome – a condition causing increased agitation and confusion in the evening and nighttime hours. For this reason, it may be best to plan your gathering earlier in the day. Perhaps a holiday brunch or lunch will allow for the most quality time together. If the celebration must happen during evening hours, keep the space full of light and let your loved one get rest if he or she is showing signs of fatigue.
Stick With the Familiar
Try to allow your loved one with Alzheimer’s to stick to a normal routine as much as possible. Too much change can cause confusion and upset. Make sure there is also time for rest and breaks. It is also a good idea to incorporate familiar holiday traditions. Singing favorite songs, serving cherished recipes, and looking through photo albums from past holidays can tap into seasonal joy and even bring back fond memories!
Talk To Us
Whether your loved one is a resident at Parc Provence or you are just checking out memory care options, we are here for you. Our specially designed, home like setting set the standard for quality memory care. With over 80 activities designed to stimulate and engage our residents every single day, it’s easy to see why we are Leading the Way in Memory Care. Contact us today for more information.