There is a lot going on during this time of year, but below are tips that can help you and your loved one enjoy this holiday season.
Be realistic about what you and your loved can handle.
Keep in mind that changes in routines, surroundings, and people may add to your loved one’s confusion.
Plan for shorter trips and visits, as your loved one may become tired more easily.
Do your best to stick to your loved one’s daily schedule and routine. Having consistency is important for a person living with dementia to maintain their safety and happiness.
Your loved one can pick up on your stress levels and energy. Do your best to remain calm when around them. Walk away if needed.
Update visitors and hosts about changes in your loved one.
Letting friends and family know about what to expect when visiting your loved one can help add ease to your time together.
Be prepared for your loved one to have difficulty recognizing family members or friends.
Keep activities simple!
Avoid any activity that may become too complicated for your loved one. Instead, focus on simple activities such as spending time outside, going for a walk in the neighborhood, coloring, reading out loud, or listening to music.
If your loved one is still able to participate in holiday traditions, invite them to help you wrap gifts, decorate, or set the table. This will help them feel useful and important.
Warm beverages – such as hot tea or hot cocoa – can be soothing for a person living with dementia. Simply sitting down to enjoy a drink with your loved one can be an easy, calming activity.
Use the holiday season as a chance to reminisce.
Reminiscing is incredibly beneficial for a person living with dementia because it creates feelings of peace, joy, and connection with those around them. It can even reduce unwanted behaviors.
Consider reminiscing about favorite holiday traditions, movies, food dishes, music, or family vacations.
Take care of yourself!
The holiday season can be an emotionally exhausting time for caregivers. Let go of guilt and be patient with yourself. Take time to enjoy moments with friends and family.
Don’t be afraid to ask for help. This doesn’t make you any less of a caregiver.
Consider a respite stay or in-home care for your loved one if you are feeling too overwhelmed.
If you are looking for more guidance during the holiday season, contact one of us here at the Dubin Center – we are here to help!