Alzheimer’s and The Holidays

IMG_6569The holiday season can cause stress and sadness when celebrating with a loved one who has been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease.

Our expectations and desires are to have everything the way it has always been. However, this disease brings new challenges, such as a person who might be agitated more easily, or someone who is not aware of the normal customs and traditions.

So, in order to create an atmosphere that is enjoyable and comfortable for everyone, we must learn to adapt to a new normal.

  • Keep it simple at home – Make preparations together. Include your loved one in as many activities as she/he is comfortable. Remember to tone down the decorations. Often blinking lights and busy decorations can be disorienting to a person with Alzheimer’s disease.
  • Be practical away from home – Familiar settings are the more secure and safest for your loved one who has been diagnosed with AD. Too many visitors can be overwhelming.       Choose the best time of day to invite visitors or go visiting.
  • Manage expectations – Pick and choose which activities and events are the most important, most comfortable and most enjoyable for your loved one.       Make sure you update family and friends concerning the wants and needs of the loved one who is struggling with Alzheimer’s disease.
  • Delegate – Make sure family and friends who are willing to assist in the many holiday requirements get the opportunity to assist in making the holiday more enjoyable for the caregiver and the person with Alzheimer’s disease.
  • Trust your instincts – As the caregiver, you know best what your loved one is capable of enduring. Resist pressure to do things the way they used to be done. Instead focus on your needs and the comfort of your loved one.

 

The holiday season is to be enjoyed and treasured. It is your right as the caregiver to keep your own health and that of your loved one in mind when planning any and all activities.

Your loved one, who is dealing with Alzheimer’s disease surely deserves to be able to celebrate with comfort and security.