During the holiday season, everyone wants to be included—and your loved ones who have Alzheimer’s and dementia are no exception. Thinking of ways to involve them in the holiday process can sometimes be difficult, but as a caregiver, there are things you can do to rope them into the festivities at every step of the way.
In fact, one great way to involve your older family members is to allow them to participate in the holiday planning process itself. Not only can this involvement help your loved one to feel like a part of something bigger, but it can also rekindle happy memories of holidays past.
As you seek to involve your loved ones in holiday planning, here are some recommendations:
Build on established family traditions. Think about the things that have brought joy to your family—and to your older family member, in particular—in the past, and use those memories as the foundation for this year’s activities. Looking at old family albums, singing favorite songs, cooking favorite meals, putting up traditional decorations—all of these things can be meaningful in igniting happy memories.
Provide your older family member with something he or she can do to help. Just make sure it’s something appropriate to the person’s age and condition; something like measuring ingredients or helping you sort out the Christmas Tree ornaments may work well.
Even during the holiday season, make sure you maintain a normal routine. Don’t let the holiday planning keep you from providing your loved one with regular rest times, meals, etc. This sense of regularity is key!
Your loved one with dementia can be involved with your holiday planning—and it can bolster the spirits of everyone in your family. Use these tips to guide your own holiday prep time.
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