Home Care Tips for the Holidays
As the air temperature cools and the fall colors bloom it is evident that the Holiday Season is quickly approaching. Many people have begun their holiday planning, travels and other holiday festivities. As you look at your holiday plans, it is important to remember thorough planning and preparation will help alleviate some of the stress of the holiday season. This is especially true if you are caring for a loved one or an aging parent this holiday season.
For those suffering from Alzheimer’s or dementia, a refreshing walk around the neighborhood may quickly remind them of the time and season. Seeing the various Halloween decorations dot the neighborhood houses is a quick reminder that the Holidays have arrived. As Halloween decorations quickly fade to fall décor, soon to be bright with Holiday lights and music, the sights and sounds remind seniors of the seasons. What a magical time of year. Yet if you are caring for a loved one with Alzheimer’s or dementia, the rush of the holidays may bring new challenges for you and your family.
The holiday season can also be a very stressful time of year for a person with Alzheimer’s or dementia. Preparing your loved one for the holiday season can help alleviate the stress and create a memorable experience together. Below are some tips to share with your family members on how they can prepare their loved one dealing with Alzheimer’s or dementia for the holiday season. It is important to understand that preparation can be made days, weeks or months in advance. This preparation will help to relieve holiday stress that some family caretakers feel during this hectic time of year.
How to prepare the person with Alzheimer’s disease for the holidays:
Talk about and show pictures of the people who are coming to visit.
Play familiar holiday music and serve their favorite traditional holiday foods.
Ask your loved one to help with putting up holiday decorations.
People with Alzheimer’s may recognize faces of family members and friends but may be unable to recall names. Name tags can be very helpful.
Have a “quiet” room if things get too hectic for your loved one. Ask a familiar person to stay with them so they don’t feel isolated or left out.
Prepare for distractions beforehand to divert your loved ones attention if problematic behaviors occur.
How to prepare yourself as a caregiver when celebrating the holidays with a loved one who has Alzheimer’s or dementia:
Take breaks regularly. Look into senior day stays at your nearest senior living community or in-home care if help is needed.
Stop feeling guilty about things you can’t control or change.
Cut out the unnecessary – don’t be afraid to say no if your feeling overwhelmed.
Ask for and accept help from family and friends.
Share your feelings. It might be a good idea to join a caregiver support group to gain tips and insight on how to care for a loved one with Alzheimer’s or dementia.
Take care of yourself; give yourself a gift this holiday season!
Set limits as to what you are able to do and make sure the family understands your needs and wishes.
How to prepare your visitors and other family members when celebrating the holidays with a loved one who has Alzheimer’s or dementia:
- Encourage them to visit, but ask that they call ahead to make sure it is a good time.
- Celebrate early in the day or have a holiday lunch rather than dinner to reduce the likelihood of Sundowner Syndrome.
- Familiarize visitors with behavior or conditions beforehand.
- Try not to have too many people over at one time, which may be overwhelming.
How to prepare yourself and your family if you are visiting a loved one who has Alzheimer’s or dementia:
- Watch for signs of fatigue and agitation and shorten the length of your stay.
- Bring photographs, holiday treats, a favorite record or other things to share.
- Don’t talk about your problems or depressing topics, or about their condition.
- Encourage reminiscence; engage the Alzheimer’s patient in conversation. Often those with Alzheimer’s will remember events from the past, but may not remember anything that happened 30 minutes ago.
- Ask the caregiver the best time of the day to visit.
- Offer to do something for the caregiver (run an errand, prepare food, etc.).
- Avoid making judgment.
- Give of yourself.
- Set limits as to what you are able to do and make sure the family understands your needs and wishes.
The Holidays are a wonderful time of year. A time to reflect on the past, enjoy the present and look forward to the coming year. Plan ahead, and prepare yourself and your loved ones to enjoy this Holiday season.
Care To Stay Home is a local, non-medical in-home senior care provider. Care To Stay Home is a unique service senior care service providing Caregivers for clients and the elderly who may no longer be able to adequately care for themselves or live alone safely at home. Our experienced employees assist individuals with their in home care needs and the Activities of Daily Living (ADL’s) such as Walking, Dressing, Transferring, Bathing, Eating, and Continence care in the privacy of their own home. Meal preparation, light housekeeping and transportation may also be provided. Our service is the perfect alternative for people who do not want to move into a facility, but Care To Stay Home, instead.