When a Senior Loved One Has Dementia, How Do You Manage the Holidays?
Watching the holiday season through the lens of Alzheimer’s disease can seem to be anything but merry and bright. Family may be weighed down with caregiving responsibilities, and the disruption to routine may bring about more distress for a senior dealing with the effects of dementia.
Nevertheless, with a little creativity and adjustment of expectations, the holiday season can provide meaning and fulfillment to family members that are factoring in dementia this year. All Care’s experienced Alzheimer’s caregivers provide the following suggestions:
- Make sure to take time for self-care. First and foremost, it’s crucial for family members to maintain a healthy lifestyle in order to provide the very best care for their loved one – and to prevent caregiver burnout. Select a set period of time each day for an uninterrupted calming activity along the lines of curling up by the fire to read, writing in a journal, working out, engaging in a favorite hobby, walking the dog, etc.
- Help the senior participate. Choose holiday tasks and fun-filled activities that are in accordance with the senior’s present ability level and interest, and include him or her in taking an active part of the celebration. Some ideas include helping to make holiday homemade projects such as paper snowflakes, helping with gift wrapping, hanging up ornaments, or rolling/cutting out/decorating cookies.
- Commit to spending quality time with each other. There is beauty in just being in the presence of one's aging loved one, without having expectations or responsibilities. Pick up a couple of cozy, warm blankets, put on some calm holiday music, and cuddle up on the sofa with some picture albums to reminisce. At times, the simplest of memories become those we treasure the most.
- Forgive yourself. There may likely be situations when you deal with a troublesome behavior in your loved one with much less patience than you would have liked, and the resulting feelings of guilt can be strong. It is imperative that you learn from mistakes, forgive yourself, and decide to cope with things differently the next time. Enlisting help from a professional caregiving team that specializes in dementia care, such as All Care In-Home Care Solutions, can lessen a great amount of stress for family caregivers, allowing them to spend much-needed time away from care duties.
All Care In-Home Care Solutions can assist in so many ways by supplying the reliable care for seniors with Alzheimer’s which allows families to fully enjoy the holiday season together. Whether it’s only for a couple of hours each week to allow family members a break, full-time, around-the-clock care and supervision, or anything in between, we provide a free in-home consultation to identify how to best enhance wellbeing for the elderly with Alzheimer’s. Contact us at (541) 857-9195 to learn more.