As you plan for this year’s holiday parties and family gatherings, it is important to ensure that everyone is involved. In many families, this will include loved ones who struggle with Alzheimer’s and dementia. During the planning process, it’s important to be mindful of these special needs, and to ensure that these older family members are made to feel like they are cherished members of the group.
In fact, there is much that you can do to actually involve them in the planning process itself. Here are a few of our tips.
Make sure that you build on past memories and family traditions. The holiday season will provide you with ample opportunity to rekindle old, joyous memories. Maybe this means gathering to sing favorite Christmas songs. Maybe it means lingering over beloved decorations. Maybe it means spending some time looking through old family photo albums.
Get your loved one involved in preparation. There are always going to be tasks that are appropriate for your loved one to assist you with. It can be something incredibly simple—helping you wash vegetables, measure an ingredient, hand you decorations as you place them on the tree, or something else that comes to mind.
Throughout the holiday season, stick to a normal schedule. Don’t let the hustle and bustle of the season disrupt your sense of structure in your home. Make sure you maintain regular, organized daily routines, including meal breaks and rest periods for your loved one with dementia.
Be mindful of the things that might be uniquely challenging for your loved one. Flashing lights, for example, can sometimes cause confusion or anxiety. Being inclusive to your older family members will require some flexibility.
With these tips, you can ensure that your holiday preparations are meaningful to everyone involved.
Contact CountryHouse to ask about our memory care services.