Alzheimer’s and the Holiday Season

Do you have big plans for your holiday season? Will you be hosting family and friends for dinners or other celebrations? These festivities can be a wonderful time to reunite everyone and enjoy spending time together. Be aware, however, that your loved one with Alzheimer’s disease may need a little help joining the party.

People with Alzheimer’s can find lots of noise, unfamiliar faces or unpredictable activities overwhelming, so you’ll need to exercise a certain amount of control over the situation. If your loved one becomes tired or anxious, have the comfort of a “quiet room” close at hand. You might even plan smaller gatherings that break up relatively early to reduce the chances of over-stimulation. Just figuring out who everyone is can be a frustrating struggle for someone with Alzheimer’s. Ask your guests to provide helpful hints and information when they greet your loved one: “Hi, I’m your eldest grandson,” or “It’s me, your good old next-door neighbor.” Saying “Remember me?” will only twist the knife, even if you had no intention of being cruel, because your loved one can’t remember.

Even during a festive celebration, your loved one with Alzheimer’s will continue to need regular care. If incontinence is a problem, help your loved one to the bathroom at regular intervals or as needed. Remember to administer any medications on schedule. At the same time, however, try to include Grandpa in the favorite pastimes he always enjoyed, if he feels up to it.

Can BrightStar of Austin join in the fun? Of course! If you would like to arrange for one of our trained nurses to attend and help out, it might give you more quality time as a host and family member instead of wearing your caregiver hat throughout the event. Just ask us!

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