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Alzheimer / Dementia

Celebrating the Holidays with a Parent with Dementia

January 17, 2024 admin
caregivers support
The holiday season is often a time of joy, love, and cherished memories with family. However, for those caring for a parent with dementia, it can also be a source of stress and challenges. As we strive to create meaningful celebrations for our loved ones, we must navigate the unique needs and abilit

The holiday season is often a time of joy, love, and cherished memories with family. However, for those caring for a parent with dementia, it can also be a source of stress and challenges. As we strive to create meaningful celebrations for our loved ones, we must navigate the unique needs and abilities of our parents with dementia. It’s important to remember that dementia affects everyone differently, and what works for one person might not work for another. Adapting our traditional holiday routines to align with a parent’s current abilities can create an environment where they feel safe, loved, and valued. For example, playing their favorite holiday music or decorating the house with familiar ornaments can evoke a sense of nostalgia and comfort. However, it’s equally essential to avoid over-stimulating environments, as they can cause anxiety or confusion. As caregivers, we might need to alter our expectations and accept that the holidays won’t be the same as before. Yet, these changes don’t mean the season can’t be joyful and fulfilling. Our resilience and creativity as caregivers can turn these challenges into opportunities for creating new, precious memories with our parents. Remember, self-care during this period is crucial too.

Here are few things to consider while celebrating the holidays with a loved one who has dementia:

  • Simplify traditions:

    Keep the celebrations low-key and simple. For example, instead of a huge family gathering, opt for a small, intimate get-together with close family members.

  • Maintain routine:

    Try to stick to the daily routine as much as possible. Significant changes can be distressing for a person with dementia.

  • Create a calm environment:

    Avoid bright lights and loud noises as they can be overwhelming. Instead, create a calm and soothing atmosphere.

  • Incorporate familiar music and decorations:

    Use familiar holiday decorations and play their favorite holiday music to invoke a sense of comfort and nostalgia.

  • Involve them in preparations:

    Depending on their abilities, involve them in the holiday preparations such as decorating the house or baking cookies.

  • Be flexible:

    Be prepared for some unexpected situations and be flexible in your plans.

  • Take care of yourself:

    As a caregiver, it’s important to take time for yourself. Don’t forget to rest and do things you enjoy, to handle caregiver stress. Use resources like the FamliCare app to get support and advice.

Remember, the aim is to make the holidays enjoyable and stress-free for both you and your loved one with dementia. With some preparation and support, you can create meaningful memories that will last a lifetime. Let FamliCare help you on this journey of celebrating the holidays with a parent with dementia. We understand the challenges and we are here to offer guidance and support every step of the way. So sign up for our newsletter today and join our community of caregivers. Together, we can make the holidays a special time for everyone. Stay informed, stay connected, and take care of yourself and your loved one with dementia this holiday season. Happy holidays from FamliCare!

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