Holiday traditions can become difficult for a family who deals with loved ones who have memory impairments like Alzheimer’s or dementia. Think of it this way, whether you’re caring for the elderly, caring for loved ones during Christmas, or you’re celebrating the holidays with Alzheimer’s, just focus on your love for your family and try to maintain happy holiday traditions with your loved ones. Your kids and grandkids will benefit from that later on.
Here are some tips on how you can keep the holiday spirit alive for your loved ones with Alzheimer’s or dementia. Holidays for the elderly will surely be better if you employ these and the positive results could extend to general elder care at home even after the holidays.
Include Singing in the Morning Routine to Set Cheery Holiday Traditions
As soon as September starts, you can condition your loved ones to enjoy happier holiday traditions by starting their day with some singing of their favorite Christmas songs. Choose those that would make them smile or laugh, or those that have special meaning to them.
They may not usually remember these because of Alzheimer’s or dementia, but it will make them feel warmer whenever they remember snippets from their youth because of that one special song. After the holiday season, replace the Christmas songs with other happy songs. Help them choose which ones are their favorites.
Make Something that Everyone in the Family Can Admire Together Everyday
Create something simple like letting your loved ones pick the flowers or arrange them in a vase while you cut the stems for them or add accents like a ribbon. To set the mood for the upcoming holiday, you can even help them plant or grow poinsettias.
You can also start a project of making a wreath where you can both pick fallen leaves or add holly, pinecones, or whatever you can think of that would add a holiday cheer on your wreath. Both of you will smile whenever you see the finished product and they can even show off the creative family handiwork.
Prepare Meals, Desserts or Drinks Together with Your Loved Ones who Have Alzheimer’s or Dementia
Since elder care at home can be overwhelming because of the piled up household duties, try delegating the work to your loved ones. Caring for loved ones during Christmas or caring for the elderly doesn’t have to be that exhausting. They can help you and you just have to supervise them to avoid any accidents.
You can let them cut veggies for the salad and if you’re worried that they may cut themselves, give them safety knives. You know the ones kiddie chefs use. Aside from joining in the preparation for the holiday traditions, they can do this every day with you and they will feel more that they’re part of the family.
Celebrating the Holidays with Alzheimer’s by Saying Thank You Everyday
Holidays for the elderly will be much more meaningful if they say what they’re thankful for each day. It will help them to stay positive and connected with the entire family. The rest of the family should join in to maximize the effect of being positive. Everybody will feel more hopeful for what’s still to come. Alzheimer’s or dementia won’t feel as much of a burden for them and they’ll relish the holiday traditions more.
Stay in Touch with Family and Friends
Try to organize tiny gatherings with friends and family. You can make it a monthly thing where you invite a few people for afternoon tea or cookie swaps. They can bring the sweets that they made or even bought and you provide the tea, coffee, hot chocolate, or whichever drink that everyone fancies.
Make everything simple so as not to make anyone feel overwhelmed by it. When September starts, you can have a theme of serving Christmas themed sweets and drinks like gingerbread cookies or chocolate brownies with mint. Loved ones with Alzheimer’s or dementia will surely enjoy the holiday traditions more.
Make Sure Your Loved Ones with Alzheimer’s or Dementia Stay Updated about Their Grandkids
This will be especially effective if they enjoyed being with the grandkids during holiday traditions with the entire family. Try to introduce the beauty of technology to them. Help them create their Facebook accounts so they can view their grandkids’ photos. Encourage them to post comments.
You can also try to set Facetime schedules when they can share a song that they like or wish the kids a happy birthday or just even to say good night or read a story to their grandkids. You will make them feel that even if they have Alzheimer’s or dementia, they can still be happy with everyone, especially with those who mean the world to them.
How Connected are You this Holiday Season?
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