December 8, 2017
Observing the holidays through the lens of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease can look far from merry and bright. Family may be weighed down with caregiving tasks, 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 bring meaning and fulfillment to individuals who’re factoring in dementia this year. Continuum’s experienced Alzheimer’s caregivers provide the following advice:
- It is important to take time for self-care. First and foremost, it’s vital for family members to maintain a healthy way of life in an effort to provide the best care for their loved one – and to prevent caregiver burnout. Assign a certain time period each day for an uninterrupted soothing activity such as curling up near the fireplace to read, writing in a journal, working out, engaging in a favorite hobby, walking the dog, etc.
- Engage the senior’s participation. Come up with holiday projects and fun-filled activities that are in accordance with the senior’s current ability level and interests, and include him or her in taking an active part of the celebration. Some thoughts include creating holiday homemade projects such as paper snowflakes, assisting with gift wrapping, hanging decorations, or rolling/cutting out/decorating cookies.
- Commit to spending quality time with each other. There is beauty in simply just being in the presence of one’s loved one, without having expectations or obligations. Pick up a couple cozy, warm blankets, put on some quiet holiday music, and snuggle up on the couch with some photo albums to reminisce. Sometimes the simplest of memories come to be some of those we treasure the most.
- Forgive yourself. There will likely be situations when you react to a troublesome behavior in your family member with much less patience than you would have liked, and the ensuing feelings of remorse can be overwhelming. It’s imperative that you learn from mistakes, forgive yourself, and decide to handle matters in a different way the next time. Enlisting assistance from a reliable caregiving team that are experts in dementia care, such as Continuum, can relieve a good deal of stress for family caregivers, permitting them to spend much-needed time clear of care duties.
Continuum’s St. Louis home care team can help in in so many ways by providing the trusted care for seniors with Alzheimer’s that allows family members to thoroughly enjoy the holiday season together. Whether it is just for a couple of hours each week to allow family caregivers a break, full-time, around-the-clock supervision and care, or anything in between, we provide a free in-home consultation to establish the best way to enhance total wellbeing for older persons with Alzheimer’s. Contact us at (314) 863-9912 to learn more.