The holidays can be a stressful time for those with dementia and their families. Consider rethinking your holiday traditions to make them more enjoyable for you and your family.
- Discuss the upcoming holidays with your family members beforehand. Agree on those traditions that must be retained and those that can be discontinued.
- Make a list of those tasks which must be done and those that should be done. Focus on the must be done list only.
- Have each family member prepare part of the meal rather than doing it all to yourself. You may want to do it all but it will be less stressful if you have others involved.
- People with dementia feel safest in their familiar surroundings. If your loved one resides in a Memory Support community consider bringing them dinner and then staying while they enjoy it. Remember short visits are always easier for everyone no matter what day it is.
- If a large family gathering is planned designate a family member to spend parts of that day with the loved one so they are not left alone. The day will go much easier if there is someone next to them to provide cues as to who just came into the room, help them to the dinner table and provide comfort and safety throughout.
- Make sure all family members understand the loved one's decline and adjust their expectations accordingly. Inform your family members beforehand and remind them that a smile and hug are truly gifts to share.
To discuss any of these ideas further contact Nancy Carey, RN of The Geriatric Care Consultants at 847 295-3811