December 7, 2017 by
Looking at the holiday season through the lens of Alzheimer’s disease can seem to be anything but merry and bright. Family caregivers may be bogged down with care duties, and the disruption to routine can result in more distress for a person experiencing the impact of dementia.
However, with a bit of creative thinking and modification of expectations, the holiday season can offer meaning and fulfillment to family members who are factoring in dementia this year. At Home Independent Living’s experienced Alzheimer’s care professionals provide the following advice:
- It is important to take time for personal care. First and foremost, it’s vital for family members to uphold a healthy lifestyle in order to provide the very best care for their senior loved one – and to prevent caregiver burnout. Designate a fixed time daily for an uninterrupted enjoyable activity along the lines of curling up by the fire to read, writing in a journal, doing exercises, engaging in a favorite pastime, walking the dog, etc.
- Help the senior participate. Try to find holiday tasks and fun-filled activities that’re in accordance with the older adult’s current ability level and interest, and include him or her in being an active part of the celebration. A few ideas include making holiday homemade projects such as paper snowflakes, helping with gift wrapping, hanging decorations, or rolling/cutting out/decorating cookies.
- Commit to spending quality time with one another. There is beauty in simply just being in the presence of your aging loved one, without having expectations or obligations. Gather up a couple of cozy, warm blankets, put on some peaceful holiday tunes, and cuddle up on the couch with a few photo albums to reminisce. At times, the simplest of memories grow to be those we treasure the most.
- Forgive yourself. There will likely be times when you respond to a troublesome behavior in your loved one with less patience than you’d probably have liked, and the ensuing feelings of remorse can be strong. It’s imperative that you learn from mistakes, forgive yourself, and determine to cope with things in another way the next time. Enlisting the assistance of a dependable caregiving team that specializes in dementia care, such as At Home Independent Living, can alleviate a great amount of stress for family caregivers, permitting them to enjoy much-needed time away from care obligations.
Click here for more information on how to help seniors with Alzheimer’s and dementia.
At Home Independent Living’s Syracuse home care professionals can help in in so many ways by supplying the reliable care for seniors with Alzheimer’s that enables family members to fully enjoy the holiday season together. Whether it’s just for a few hours each week to allow family caregivers a break, full-time, around-the-clock supervision and care, or something in between, we provide a free in-home consultation to establish how to best improve total wellbeing for aging adults with Alzheimer’s. Contact us at 315.579.HOME to learn more.