The holidays can be a time of great joy and celebration, but they can also be stressful, especially if you’re a caregiver to a loved one living with cognitive impairment or dementia. That’s why it’s important to remember there are many excellent resources available to help you navigate what can be a very challenging time. Senior Care Authority, and our dementia care solutions providers, is one such resource. We have the skill and the expertise to help you take care of yourself and your loved one and make the right decisions no matter what time of year it is.
We believe the holidays should be festive and fun, and they can be with a little forethought. Here are a few ways to keep the season enjoyable for the entire family.
Keep it Simple
It may be tempting to celebrate the holidays elaborately, and perhaps that’s how you’ve done so in the past. But if you’re sharing the season with a senior loved one who’s living with dementia, it’s best to keep things as simple as possible. Minimize everyone’s stress by paring celebrations down. Decide on which traditions mean the most to you and your loved one, and ask them which ones they prefer, so they feel involved. Sometimes it’s the little things — trimming the tree, baking cookies, singing carols —that are the most meaningful, and they can be wonderful ways to acknowledge the season without complications.
Keep it Small
The holidays are very often a time when families host large reunions and neighbors drop by for extended visits. But if you’re celebrating with a senior who’s cognitively impaired, this can present problems. Too much activity can easily overstimulate someone with Alzheimer’s. Providers of dementia care solutions recommend that you keep your holiday celebrations small. Forego the big parties for several small group gatherings, or keep bigger get-togethers to immediate family only. Either way, you’ll still be able to enjoy being with the people who matter to you, without having to worry as much about your elderly loved one.
Keep it Safe
Seniors with dementia are very often unaware of the ordinary dangers that households often present, especially during the holidays. That’s why it’s vital that your home be as free of them as possible. Never leave burning candles unattended. Better yet, substitute them for electric ones. If you celebrate with a tree, secure it to a wall, and make sure electrical wires and carpets don’t present tripping hazards. Make sure holiday decorations are clearly identifiable as that and aren’t mistaken for candy or something to play with.
Keep it Calm
Believe it or not, keeping your own stress level as low as possible during the holidays is doing well by your senior loved one, too. People with Alzheimer’s or dementia can become agitated or anxious in response to other people’s stress levels, so try not to let the demands of the day get to you. The qualified dementia care solutions providers at Senior Care Authority can suggest ways to help you manage your stress level during the holiday season and beyond, so make sure to reach out to us!
To find out more about Senior Care Authority, get in touch today!