Although the holidays can be especially stressful for families living with Alzheimer’s, you might be surprised to learn that maintaining or adapting family rituals and traditions can help all family members feel connected. Follow these tips to help you have an enjoyable holiday season:
- Celebrate holidays that are important to you. Be sure to find time for holiday activities you like to do, even if you have to go by yourself.
- Involve your loved one with Alzheimer’s as much as possible. Participating in and observing you prepare for the holidays will familiarize them with the upcoming festivities.
- Simplify when possible. Don’t feel like you have to cook an elaborate dinner or decorate the entire house. Consider hosting a potluck and putting up a few simple decorations.
- Encourage friends and family to visit. If that feels overwhelming, try scheduling one or two visitors at the times of day when your loved one is at his or her best.
- Try to avoid frustrating or confusing situations. Limit loud noise and music or lighting that is too bright or too dark. Also, make sure there is a space where the person can rest when he or she goes to larger gatherings.
Visit the NIA website for more holiday hints for Alzheimer’s caregivers.