6 Ways to Have a Perfect Holiday With Loved Ones Living with Alzheimer’s
The holidays are the perfect time to reconnect with loved ones, schedule calls with friends and family living abroad, reminisce on old times, but most importantly be in the moment together.
Unfortunately, the holidays can be very difficult for those living with or helping a loved one living with Alzheimer’s disease or dementia.
Perhaps they’ve experienced memory loss to the point where they can’t remember last year’s celebrations or the years before. Or perhaps they remember but have had a hard time making conversation with you lately.
Whatever the case, this can be extremely frustrating and sad for your family to deal with.
Thankfully, there are so many ways you can be there for your loved one with alzheimer’s and make this holiday extra special.
- Be compassionate:
Whether you’re hosting Christmas Eve dinner or simply extremely busy at work, this time of year can take a toll on our emotions. For your loved one’s sake, do your best to be as calm as possible and aware of what they are going through. Be ready for any mood swing or change of plans on their end as the disease can be unpredictable.
- Set a schedule:
If you’re in charge of caring for this loved one, try creating and sticking to a schedule for them before the big week. Make sure they go to bed at the same time each day, eat their regular meals at the same hours each day, and any other routine tasks. This will bring them a sense of comfort and order.
- Be Self-Aware:
If you have loved ones suffering from Alzheimer’s visiting for the holidays, make sure that, when in any social situation, you don’t refer to them or talk about them as if they weren’t there. These are your family members, not strangers, and they don’t deserve to be treated any differently just because they’re suffering from this.
- Create new memories:
It’s easy to think back to all the amazing memories you’ve made through the years during the holidays and all the great experiences you’ve lived through. But don’t forget that the holidays are a time for making new memories, especially loved ones living with Alzheimer’s.
- Give practical gifts:
Although you should definitely get your loved one a classic gift or stocking stuffer, use this opportunity to gift them with something that will help make their life easier, such as a home meal-delivery subscription, house-cleaning service for the spring and more! This can also be a big help to their caregiver working around the clock.