When holidays come around family members often wonder how they can include a senior parent or loved one with Alzheimer’s in a way that won’t overwhelm them. They want their senior loved one to have the joy of a family holiday but at the same time don’t want confuse them or cause them stress and anxiety. Here are a few things that family members can do to make sure that their senior parent or family member with Alzheimer’s has the best possible holiday:
Hold It At Their House
One way to give a senior parent with Alzheimer’s a great holiday without stressing them out too much is to hold it at their house. They will get to stay in a familiar environment. And they won’t have to travel in the car or go somewhere far away so they won’t be stressed out while coming home. Your senior loved one will probably love having all the hustle and bustle of cooking and baking and holiday preparation going on in the kitchen and they may even want to help you set the table or prepare dinner.
Get Alzheimer’s Care
Alzheimer’s care is specialized care for seniors with Alzheimer’s. Because the care providers work only with people with Alzheimer’s they have a unique set of skills that can be really effective helping seniors with Alzheimer’s. If your senior loved one has Alzheimer’s care for the holidays you can focus on hosting the holiday event knowing that someone is looking after your senior parent. Your senior parent will have someone they know and trust making sure that they aren’t too stressed out, are getting enough to eat and drink, and are safely able to use the bathroom.
Break Out The Family Recipes
Food is tied to memory, which is why foods from your childhood can instantly transport you back to your childhood home, or to your grandmother’s kitchen. Your family recipes can do the same for your senior parent with Alzheimer’s. Break out the family recipe box for the holidays and make some of the holiday classics that your senior parent used to make for the holidays. Your senior parent may not know what day it is but when they taste the stuffing made from a recipe handed down in the family for three generations or that unique pumpkin pie they always made for the holidays they will remember the feelings of home, comfort, love, and family.
Watch For Signs They’re Tired
Seniors with Alzheimer’s can experience “sundowning” or a dramatic drop off in their cognition, attention, and motor skills as the day wears on. By early evening they may be tired and overwhelmed. Try to plan on eating any sit down meals in the late afternoon. Watch for signs that your senior loved one is tired and getting stressed out. If they are getting tired an Alzheimer’s care provider can take them home or get them safely up to bed if the holiday event is being held at their house.