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
Probe: Alzheimer's drug approval 'rife with irregularities' thumbnail

Probe: Alzheimer’s drug approval ‘rife with irregularities’

Skip to main content December 29, 2022 06:55 PM The Food and Drug Administration’s contentious approval of a questionable Alzheimer’s drug took another hit Thursday as congressional investigators called the process “rife with irregularities.” The 18-month investigation by two House committees detailed “atypical collaboration” between FDA regulators and a company it’s supposed to oversee—Aduhelm manufacturer
Read More
UPMC is using AI model for breast cancer sentinel node biopsies thumbnail

UPMC is using AI model for breast cancer sentinel node biopsies

Researchers at the UPMC Hillman Cancer Center used UPMC-owned Realyze Intelligence technology to understand the utility of sentinel lymph node biopsy, or SLNB, for early-stage breast cancer patients under age 70.    WHY IT MATTERS The team, led by Dr. Emilia Diego, division chief of breast surgery and the co-director of the UPMC Hillman Cancer Center
Read More
바이든 “우크라이나 침공 시 러시아에 재앙 될 것” thumbnail

바이든 “우크라이나 침공 시 러시아에 재앙 될 것”

조 바이든 미국 대통령. 워싱턴=AP뉴시스 미국의 조 바이든 대통령은 러시아가 우크라이나를 침공할 경우 책임을 물을 것이라며 강경 대응을 공언했다. 로이터통신에 따르면 19일(현지시간) 바이든 대통령은 취임 1주년을 하루 앞둔 이날 기자회견을 열고 블라디미르 푸틴 대통령은 자신이 약속한 제재를 결코 본 적이 없었다면서 이같이 말했다. 지금까지와는 다른 초강경 대응을 시사한 대목이다. 바이든 대통령은 러시아가 우크라이나를 침공한다면 러시아에 재앙이…
Read More
She pretended to be a dermatologist and was sentenced to nine months of community service thumbnail

She pretended to be a dermatologist and was sentenced to nine months of community service

תושבת אשקלון שהתחזתה לרופאת עור ובטיפולים שנתנה גרמה למטופלות נזקים קשים נדונה אתמול (ד') בבית משפט השלום באשקלון, בעקבות הסדר טיעון, לתשעה חודשי עבודות שירות שתבצע בתחנת משורה כשהיא אזוקה באזיק אלקטרוני. בדיווח של מתן צורי ב-ynet נמסר שמכתב האישום עלה כי בשנים 2017-2016 היא הפעילה מכון לרפואה אסתטית ובפני לקוחותיה ובפרסומיה בפייסבוק הציגה את…
Read More
Mixed Results for Cardiologists in Stroke Thrombectomy thumbnail

Mixed Results for Cardiologists in Stroke Thrombectomy

Outcomes were mixed among ischemic stroke patients with large vessel occlusion who underwent thrombectomy by an interventional cardiologist as part of a multidisciplinary stroke team, in a single-center, prospective study from Poland. Results from the 2-year experience show mechanical thrombectomy took longer when carried out by interventional cardiologists than by vascular surgeons and neuroradiologists (120 minutes…
Read More
US Federal Reserve to raise interest rates as early as next year thumbnail

US Federal Reserve to raise interest rates as early as next year

물가상승률 목표치 두배 이상 뛰자 제로금리 방침 유지 속 “곧 테이퍼링” 미국 워싱턴DC에 위치한 연방준비제도 청사 전경. 뉴욕 신화=연합뉴스 미국 중앙은행인 연방준비제도(Fed·연준)가 22일(현지시간) 자산매입 축소(테이퍼링)를 곧 시작할 수 있다고 밝혔다. 테이퍼링 개시 신호가 더욱 분명해지는 흐름이다. ‘제로 금리’ 방침은 유지했지만 금리 인상 시기가 이르면 내년으로 빨라질 가능성도 시사했다. 연준은 이날 연방공개시장위원회(FOMC) 정례회의를 마친 뒤 성명을…
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?