Holiday Care for Loved Ones with Alzheimer’s
The holiday season can be difficult to navigate for loved ones diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease or dementia. Having the proper plan in place can limit common obstacles faced by caregivers and can make it easier to spread holiday cheer to their loved one in a safe and effective way.
Whether your loved one is in the early, middle, or late stage of Alzheimer’s, we encourage you to try the tips below when caring for them this holiday season.
Holiday tips for Alzheimer’s caregivers
How to keep a loved one with Alzheimer’s included in a gathering at home:
- Look through family photographs together
- Let them be involved in helping prepare the food
- Share how much it means to you and your family to be spending the holiday with them
- Let them listen to and enjoy festive holiday music
- Make more memories by taking new pictures together
- Clearly explain what your holiday traditions are as you do each one together
- Make their favorite holiday dish for the gathering
How to care for a loved one with Alzheimer’s in a care facility during the holidays:
- Add holiday decorations to their room or living space
- Play festive music during your visit with them
- Write a thoughtful message to them in a holiday card and gather as many as you can from other family members as well
- Bake them a holiday treat
- Have young children create a fun holiday craft to display in their room
- Plan to bring or do something that brings them joy – such as singing a favorite song or a virtual visit from a grandchild
Other helpful tips
Play it safe – Always make sure to keep dangerous items and utensils stored away to prevent your loved one from accidentally injuring themself.
Visitor prep – Ensure any visitors are aware of your loved ones Alzheimer’s condition and prep them on what they can do to help keep things comfortable for your loved one.
Unfamiliar faces – Showing your loved one with Alzheimer’s a picture or video of visitors they haven’t seen in a long time may help limit confusion and help put them more at ease.
Keep a normal routine – While having them participate in fun holiday activities, it’s still important to follow their normal routine as much as possible to prevent confusion or frustration.
Medication schedule – Make sure to have their medication available so they are able to take it at their regular time.
Discover more guidance for Alzheimer's caregivers here.
Do you need more resources for adapting to the lifestyle changes associated with caring for a loved one diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease, dementia, or memory loss? To expand your knowledge, I highly recommend The 36-Hour Day (Sixth Edition) here.
Remember, less is more. You don’t need to have a jam-packed day in order for your loved one to have an enjoyable holiday. Keep your plans for them light and simple to prevent overwhelm and distress so they’re still able to have a positive experience.
Does your loved one need a primary care provider?
Click here to find out how your loved one can partner with a primary care provider in Frisco, McKinney, or Plano, Texas to manage their health!