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 for yourself and your senior.
Minimize everyone’s stress by paring down and focusing on a few of the most meaningful traditions. Ask your older loved one which traditions they value most. This is a way to make them feel important and involved. Trimming the tree, lighting the menorah, singing traditional songs, or baking special holiday treats are all simple but meaningful ways to acknowledge the season and make the time feel special, 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 many people, too much noise, and too much activity can easily overstimulate someone with Alzheimer’s. Providers of dementia care solutions recommend that you keep your holiday celebrations small. Instead of hosting one big party for the extended family, for instance, have several casual get-togethers with small groups spread out over time. You can also choose to limit the guest list to immediate family only. Either way, you’ll still be able to enjoy getting together 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. Avoid safety hazards like burning candles. Substitute them for electric ones, and If you do light candles, never 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, and make sure electrical wires and carpets don’t present tripping hazards.
Try Lowering Your Stress Level
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 are usually quite sensitive to other people’s moods and feelings, which means if you’re stressed or anxious, they’re likely to get stressed and agitated, too. 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!