Observing the holidays through the lens of Alzheimer’s disease can feel far from merry and bright. Family may perhaps be stressed with care responsibilities, and the interruption to routine may cause additional distress for a person experiencing the effects of dementia.
Nevertheless, after some creativity and modification of expectations, the holiday season can offer meaning and fulfillment to family members dealing with dementia this year. Home Sweet Home In-Home Care’s experienced Alzheimer’s care professionals offer the following advice:
- Take time for personal-care. First and most important, it’s vital for family caregivers to preserve a healthy way of life in order to provide the very best care for their senior loved one – and to prevent caregiver burnout. Select a certain time each day for an uninterrupted relaxing activity like curling up near the fire to read, writing in a journal, doing exercises, engaging in a favorite hobby, walking the dog, etc.
- Have the senior participate in an activity. Try to find holiday tasks and activities that will be in line with the older adult’s current ability level and interest, and include him or her in taking an active part in the celebration. A few ideas include helping to make holiday homemade projects like paper snowflakes, helping with gift wrapping, putting up ornaments, or rolling/cutting out/decorating cookies.
- Dedicate good quality time together. There’s beauty in simply just being in the presence of your loved one, without having expectations or responsibilities. Gather up a couple of soft, warm quilts, put on some quiet holiday music, and snuggle up on the couch with some picture albums to reminisce. Sometimes the simplest of memories come to be those we treasure the most.
- Forgive yourself. There may likely be situations when you deal with a challenging behavior in your family member with much less patience than you’d have liked, and the resulting feelings of guilt can be too much to handle. It is important to learn from mistakes, forgive yourself, and decide to cope with matters differently next time. Enlisting the help of a professional caregiving team that specializes in dementia care, such as Home Sweet Home In-Home Care, can ease a good deal of stress for family caregivers, enabling them to enjoy much-needed time clear of care duties.
Home Sweet Home In-Home Care, providers of St. Joseph home care, can help in so many ways by providing the reliable care for seniors with Alzheimer’s that allows families to fully enjoy the holidays together. Whether it is just for a few hours each week to allow family caregivers a break, full-time, around-the-clock care and supervision, or anything in between, we offer a free in-home consultation to identify the best way to improve well-being for seniors dealing with dementia. Contact us at (269) 849-9252 to learn more.