Alzheimer’s: Tips to make holidays more enjoyable

Alzheimer’s: Tips to make holidays more enjoyable

Holidays can be challenging for families affected by Alzheimer’s. Try these tips to make the holidays easier and enjoyable for everyone.

By Mayo Clinic Staff

The holiday season can cause mixed feelings for a family affected by Alzheimer’s disease or other dementia.

While typically a time for celebration, families may experience a sense of loss for the way things used to be. For caregivers, the holidays may create added work. You’ll also have to consider the needs of the person with dementia during holiday decorating and gatherings.

By adjusting your expectations and modifying some traditions, you may find meaningful ways to celebrate holidays.

Creating a safe and calm space

To create an appropriate environment during the holidays for the person with dementia:

  • Tone down decorations. Avoid blinking lights or large decorative displays that can cause confusion. Avoid decorations that cause clutter or require you to rearrange a familiar room.
  • Avoid safety hazards. Substitute electric candles for burning candles. If you light candles, don’t leave them unattended. Avoid fragile decorations or decorations that could be mistaken for edible treats, such as artificial fruits. If you have a tree, secure it to a wall.
  • Play favorite music. Familiar or favorite holiday music may be enjoyable. Adjust the volume to be relaxing and not distressing.

Adapting holiday activities

To help the person with dementia enjoy the holidays:

  • Prepare together. Mix batter, decorate cookies, open holiday cards or make simple decorations. Focus on the task rather than the outcome.
  • Host a small gathering. Aim to keep celebrations quiet and relaxed.
  • 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. If you are having guests over, provide a quiet place for the person with dementia to have time alone or to 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.

Celebrating at a care facility

If your family member lives in a nursing home or other care facility, try these ideas:

  • Celebrate in the most familiar setting. Because a change in environment can cause distress, consider holding a small family celebration at the facility. You might participate in holiday activities planned for the residents.
  • Minimize visitor traffic. Arrange for a few family members to drop in on different days. A large group may be overwhelming.

Preparing holiday visitors

To help visitors prepare for holiday time with a person with dementia:

  • Provide an update. Let guests know ahead of time about any changes in behavior or memory since their last visit. Providing a recent photo can help people prepare for changes in appearance.
  • Offer communication tips. Suggest ways for guests to listen patiently, such as not criticizing repeated comments, not correcting errors and not interrupting.
  • Suggest activities. Tell guests ahead of time what activities you have planned or suggest something they might bring, such as a photo album.

Taking care of yourself

Self-care is crucial for caregivers during the holidays. To make the season enjoyable:

  • Pick and choose. Focus on the holiday activities and traditions that are most important to you. Remember that you can’t do it all.
  • Manage others’ expectations. Set realistic expectations for what you can contribute to family holiday celebrations.
  • Delegate. Let family and friends help with cleaning, addressing cards and shopping for gifts.
  • Make time for yourself. Ask a family member or friend to give you a break so that you can enjoy a holiday outing without caregiving responsibilities.

Trusting your instincts

Simplifying celebrations, planning ahead and setting boundaries can help you minimize stress and create a pleasant holiday experience for you and the person with dementia.

Sept. 23, 2021

  1. Holiday hints for Alzheimer’s caregivers. National Institute on Aging. Accessed Nov. 16, 2018.
  2. The holidays and Alzheimer’s. Alzheimer’s Association. Accessed Nov. 16, 2018.

See more In-depth


Note: This article have been indexed to our site. We do not claim legitimacy, ownership or copyright of any of the content above. To see the article at original source Click Here

Related Posts
Forscher warnen: Tapire in Südamerika vom Aussterben bedroht thumbnail

Forscher warnen: Tapire in Südamerika vom Aussterben bedroht

Das grösste Landsäugetier Südamerikas, das bis zu 250 Kilogramm schwer werden kann, litt früher vor allem unter der Jagd und der Abholzung in seinem Lebensraum. Heute ist der Hauptgrund ein anderer: Das Tier kommt mit der Fortpflanzung nicht hinterher. Ein sieben Monate alter Tapir in einem Pariser Zoo im Mai 2021. Benoit Tessier / Reuters(dpa)…
Read More
Spotify Will Add COVID Advisory to Podcasts thumbnail

Spotify Will Add COVID Advisory to Podcasts

The music streaming service Spotify announced Sunday that it will add content advisories before podcasts that discuss COVID-19 to guard against coronavirus misinformation. The advisory will also direct listeners to the company's COVID-19 Hub, which links to "trusted sources" and podcast episodes about COVID-19. The new policy will roll out on the platform across the…
Read More
Cancer Patients Particularly Vulnerable to Lack of COVID Vax Response thumbnail

Cancer Patients Particularly Vulnerable to Lack of COVID Vax Response

Oncology/Hematology > Other Cancers — Risk of breakthrough infection, hospitalization higher with undetectable antibody titers by Charles Bankhead, Senior Editor, MedPage Today December 30, 2022 Cancer patients vaccinated against COVID-19 had a significantly higher rate of negative antibody tests as compared with a vaccinated control population, greatly increasing the odds for breakthrough infection and hospitalization
Read More
Leicester-Shire & Rutland School Games Officially Launched thumbnail

Leicester-Shire & Rutland School Games Officially Launched

This year’s School Games Ambassadors, World Junior Road Race Champion Lucy Garner, and England U21 and Leicester Hockey Club first team player Josie Inverdale, officially launched the Leicester-Shire & Rutland School Games last week. The inaugural Leicester-Shire & Rutland School Games Launch was held on February 27th at Leicester Grammar School; which will also host…
Read More
President Moon "Insufficient preparations for securing beds for 'With Corona'" thumbnail

President Moon “Insufficient preparations for securing beds for 'With Corona'”

文, ‘거리두기 4단계’ 지난 7월 이후 5개월만에 또 사과 뉴시스 문재인 대통령은 16일 "방역조치를 다시 강화하게 되어 국민들께 송구스럽다"고 사과했다. 코로나19 관련 다섯번째 대국민 사과다. 문 대통령은 이날 참모진과의 회의에서 정부가 발표한 방역조치 강화와 관련해 이같이 말했다고 박경미 청와대 대변인이 춘추관 브리핑을 통해 전했다. 문 대통령은 "단계적 일상회복 과정에서 위중증 환자의 증가를 억제하지 못했고, 병상…
Read More
Index Of News
Consider making some contribution to keep us going. We are donation based team who works to bring the best content to the readers. Every donation matters.
Donate Now

Subscription Form

Liking our Index Of News so far? Would you like to subscribe to receive news updates daily?