Dementia and Holiday Celebrations

Is your family struggling to celebrate the holidays with a loved one who has dementia? The change in routine, hustle and bustle, and added noise of parties and family get-togethers can spell disastrous results for the dementia patient. How have you modified your holiday celebrations to accomodate older family members? Here are some suggestons:

1. Create a new tradition. Is the big meal getting to be too much, even if Grandma just watches? Order in a meal, or go out for Chinese food for Christmas dinner. Your family can start a new tradition in her honor.

2. Have a safe place. If Dad gets tired and irritable easily, have a bedroom with soft lights away from the noise designated and ready for him to get away for a while.

3. Talk with others about appropriate behavior. If your family includes small children, let them know that if they want to run around and be loud, they have to go outside or to a certain spot. Remind them to keep the noise down around their granddad. Talk about what to say if he forgets their name or asks the same question over and over. Keep them busy with an art project, such as decorating name tags for everyone.

These suggestions and more can be found in this article. You can also visit your local Alzheimer’s Association site for more tips.

Monica

After Alzheimer’s Diagnosis, Families Adapt Holiday Traditions – dallasnews.com