How to Deal with Dementia at the Holidays
Viewing the holidays through the lens of Alzheimer’s disease can seem to be anything but merry and bright. Family may perhaps be overwhelmed with caregiving responsibilities, and the disruption to routine can result in additional distress for a senior learning how to deal with dementia at the holidays.
Yet, with a bit of creative thinking and adjustment of expectations, the holiday season can provide meaning and fulfillment to individuals who will be factoring in dementia this year. Endeavor Home Care’s skilled Alzheimer’s care professionals provide the following advice:
- It is important to take time for self-care. First and foremost, it’s crucial for family caregivers to maintain a healthy lifestyle in order to give the best care for their loved one – and to avoid caregiver burnout. Assign a certain time period every day for an uninterrupted pleasant activity along the lines of curling up near the fireplace to read, writing in a journal, doing exercises, engaging in a favorite pastime, walking the dog, etc.
- Have the senior participate in an activity. Come up with holiday tasks and fun-filled activities that are in line with the senior’s current ability level and interest, and include him or her in taking an active part in the celebration. A few ideas include making holiday crafts such as paper snowflakes, assisting with gift wrapping, hanging up decorations, or rolling/cutting out/decorating cookies.
- Commit to spending quality time together. There’s beauty in just being in the presence of one’s aging loved one, with no expectations or responsibilities. Gather up a couple of soft, warm quilts, put on some calm holiday tunes, and snuggle up on the sofa with picture albums to reminisce. Sometimes the simplest of memories come to be some of those we treasure the most.
- Forgive yourself. There will likely be occasions when you react to a difficult behavior in your family member with much less patience than you’d have liked, and the ensuing feelings of guilt can be too much to handle. It’s imperative that you learn from mistakes, forgive yourself, and determine to deal with things in a different way next time. Enlisting assistance from a reputable caregiving team that specializes in dementia care, such as Endeavor Home Care, can alleviate a great deal of stress for family caregivers, allowing them to enjoy much-needed time away from care obligations.
Endeavor Home Care can help in so many ways by supplying the trusted care for seniors with Alzheimer’s that enables family members to thoroughly enjoy the holidays together. Whether it’s only for a couple of hours each week to permit family caregivers a break, full-time, around-the-clock supervision and care, or something in between, we provide a free in-home consultation to determine how to best enhance quality of life for the elderly with Alzheimer’s. Contact us at (619) 535-6000 in San Diego or (480) 535-6800 in Arizona to learn more about our home care.