How to Handle the Holidays with a Family Member with Dementia posted on: 12-07-2017

dementiaLooking at the holidays through the lens of Alzheimer’s disease can look far from merry and bright. Family caregivers might be stressed with care duties, and the interruption to routine can cause more distress for a senior struggling with the impact of dementia.

However, with a little creative thinking and modification of expectations, the holiday season can provide meaning and fulfillment to family members that are factoring in dementia this year. North River Home Care’s skilled Alzheimer’s caregivers offer the following suggestions:

  • Take time for self-care. First and foremost, it’s crucial for family caregivers to manage 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 enjoyable activity along the lines of curling up near the fireplace to read, writing inside a journal, exercising, engaging in a favorite pastime, walking the dog, etc.
  • Have the senior participate in an activity. Come up with holiday responsibilities and fun-filled activities that’re in accordance with the senior’s current ability level and interests, and include him or her in being an active part of the festivities. Some ideas include creating holiday homemade projects like paper snowflakes, helping with gift wrapping, hanging ornaments, or rolling/cutting out/decorating cookies.
  • Spend quality time with one another. There’s beauty in just being in the presence of your aging loved one, without having expectations or responsibilities. Pick up a couple of soft, warm blankets, put on some relaxing holiday music, and cuddle up on the sofa with picture albums to reminisce. At times the simplest of memories become those we treasure the most.
  • Forgive yourself. There will perhaps be occasions when you react to a difficult behavior in your loved one with less patience than you would have liked, and the resulting feelings of guilt can be strong. It is important to learn from mistakes, forgive yourself, and decide to handle matters differently next time. Enlisting the help of a reputable caregiving team that specializes in dementia care, such as North River Home Care, can relieve a good deal of stress for family caregivers, enabling them to enjoy much-needed time clear of care obligations.

North River Home Care can help in so many ways by providing the reputable care for seniors with Alzheimer’s that enables families to thoroughly enjoy the holidays together. Whether it’s simply for a few hours each week to allow family caregivers a break, or full-time, around-the-clock care and supervision, or anything in between, we provide a free in-home consultation to identify how to best improve well being for aging adults with Alzheimer’s. Contact us at (781) 659-1366 or contact us online to learn more.