Every year when the holidays come around, caregivers across the globe have to prepare their loved ones for a change in scenery and routine. Those who care for dementia sufferers know that this task is never truly easy. They may find that their loved one’s mental state is deteriorating year by year, and the holidays can become even more disruptive to the patient.
When you care for someone with dementia, there are certain things that you should do around the holiday season to ensure that your loved one is comfortable.
Here are some tips for caregivers of dementia patients over the holidays.
Those who suffer from dementia may feel as though they are left out of many family activities, as the other members of the family may participate in things that are unsafe for your loved one. Therefore, it’s important to include your loved one in as much as possible. Decorating and light cooking are easier tasks that they can help with throughout the season. Make sure they feel included and avoid the seasonal depression that can manifest during this time of year.
Keep decorations to a minimum and avoid blinking lights or other distracting decorations. Remember that your loved one can become extremely uncomfortable with a change in his or her environment. If the home looks different due to the festive decorations, your loved one may become disoriented and it may cause confusion and discomfort. Therefore, keep decorations light to avoid any adverse issues with your loved one.
Provide a safe, calm space for your loved one to retreat to if the holiday celebrations become too much. Your loved one may feel overwhelmed with all of the activities and extra visitors around, so it would be helpful for them to have a place they know they can go to escape the stress if they aren’t feeling well. A loss of memory may cause your loved one to become embarrassed in front of others, so allow them the ability to remove themselves if needed.
Play music that appeals to your loved one. Extra stimulation may not be enjoyable for your loved one, but by playing music they know and enjoy, you may be giving them the opportunity to tell stories they remember and reminisce about a time when they were mentally stronger.
Keep outings short and visitors few. Your loved one will tire more easily than others, and therefore, they may not be able to enjoy holiday celebrations for long. Don’t wait until it’s too late! Schedule shorter outings and stagger visitors to avoid the issue of confusion and exhaustion.
Remember that the holidays are supposed to be a happy time, and it’s important that you schedule some time for yourself to enjoy the festivities as well. It’s ok to take a break from caregiving to take care of yourself. In the event that you need caregiving assistance over the holidays and into the New Year, contact us at 24/7 Nursing Care. Our network of caregivers is ready to assist you.
Alzheimer’s: Tips to make holidays more enjoyable. (2018, December 05). Retrieved from https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/caregivers/in-depth/alzheimers/art-20047715