At MAS Home Care, we have many clients who are suffering from Alzheimer’s or another form of dementia. As a home care agency, we’re always researching ways to make every day easier and more enjoyable for our clients. We speak with experts and read countless articles about the disease, and we pass our knowledge along to our Caregivers – who we believe to be the best in New England – and who will implement proven practices that will hopefully make our client’s day a little brighter.
The holidays should be a joyous time, but if someone in your family is suffering, it’s hard to put on a happy face. We have been gathering some tips to make your holiday a happy one while caring for a loved one with Alzheimer’s or dementia in your home. Our research has shown us that keeping it simple is the best thing you can do for your loved one.
1) Be aware of the atmosphere you create in your home around the holidays. Skip the blinking lights, as they may cause confusion with your loved one. We all love Christmas music while decking the halls, but make sure to keep the volume at a soft, low volume. Avoid burning candles. Have a quiet, small family gathering instead of your usual big holiday blowout.
2) Do things together. Bake cookies, wrap presents, and open holiday cards. Go slowly and enjoy the process. Remember that patience is a virtue. If you feel yourself getting frustrated for whatever reason, take a deep breath and exhale for ten seconds. Keep in mind that you have to adjust your expectations.
3) Ask simple, specific questions that your loved one can answer “yes” or “no” to. “Would you like to help me decorate the tree?” “Would you like to stir the batter for the cookies we’re making?” Remember that your loved one with Alzheimer’s or dementia is more likely to remember older memories as opposed to newer ones. Ask them to tell you a familiar story.
4) Avoid bringing on any unnecessary stress to yourself. It’s okay to say no to things you have done in past years. Your loved one can feel your stress and frustration – so take it easy this season. Everyone will understand.