Holidays can be meaningful, enriching times for both the person with Alzheimer’s disease and his or her family. Help make holiday visits go more smoothly by preparing guests for what to expect during interactions with the person with Alzheimer’s.
Explain to guests that the person with Alzheimer’s disease does not always remember what is expected and acceptable. Give examples of unusual behaviors that may take place such as incontinence, eating food with fingers, wandering, or hallucinations.
If this is the first visit since the person with Alzheimer’s became severely impaired, tell guests that the visit may be painful. The memory-impaired person may not remember guests’ names or relationships but can still enjoy their company.
- Explain that memory loss is the result of the disease and is not intentional.
- Stress that the meaningfulness of the moment together matters more than what the person remembers.
For more information, visit Helping Family and Friends Understand Alzheimer’s.
Get more holiday hints for caregivers on the NIA website.