A person with dementia needs structure, routine, and a calm environment. These things are sometimes absent during the holidays. If you have a loved one with dementia, there are ways to make the holidays enjoyable for everyone. The Mayo Clinic offers the following tips:
- Tone down the decorations. Avoid blinking lights or large displays that can cause confusion. Avoid rearranging a familiar room to accommodate decorations.
- Avoid safety hazards. Substitute electric candles for burning ones. Avoid fragile decorations or decorations that could be mistaken for edible treats.
- Play favorite music. Adjust the volume to be relaxing and not distressing.
- Prepare together. Mix batter, decorate cookies, open holiday cards, or make simple decorations. Focus on the task rather than the outcome.
- Avoid disruptions. Plan a gathering at the best time of day for the person with dementia. Keep daily routines in place as much as possible.
- Provide a quiet place for the person with dementia to have time alone or visit with one person at a time.
- Plan meaningful activities. You might read a favorite holiday story, look at photo albums, watch a favorite holiday movie or sing songs.
- Keep outings brief. If you’ll be attending a holiday gathering, plan to be brief or be prepared to leave early if necessary. Make sure there is a place to rest or take a break.
If you have a loved one with dementia, it may be beneficial to consult a Nurse Care Manager to assist in developing a plan for the holidays. This preventative plan can help keep the holidays from becoming more stressful for everyone, especially the person with dementia.
Reach out, today, to Heather@DesertCareManagement.com or call us at 480-804-7200 to find out how we can help make this holiday season the best yet for you and your aging loved ones.