For most families, holidays are filled with opportunities for togetherness, sharing, laughter and memories. However, holidays can also be filled with stress, disappointment and sadness. This is especially true for individuals experiencing memory loss or other dementia symptoms and their caregivers. See below for a few tips that may help make the holiday season a little less stressful:
- Give yourself permission to do only what you can reasonably manage. For example, instead of hosting 15 -20 people at your home, consider hosting just a few or consider having a potluck dinner and asking others to bring dishes to contribute.
- Let visiting friends/family know what your care giving situation is so that they can have realistic expectations about what kind of visit they will have and, if possible, how they can be helpful to you if you’re also trying to make holiday preparations.
- Try to maintain the person with memory loss/dementia’s normal routine as much as possible so that holiday preparations don’t become disruptive or confusing.
- Build on past traditions and memories. Your loved one may find comfort in remembering old traditions.
- Try to be flexible – consider celebrating over lunch rather than an evening meal if your loved one experiences increased confusion in the late afternoon/evening.
- Know that everything doesn’t have to be perfect. Holidays are opportunities to share time with the people you love. Try to make these celebrations easy on yourself and your loved one so that you can concentrate on enjoying your time together.
For more information about Alzheimer’s Disease, caregiving or other resources, call us anytime at 1- 800-272-3900.