Holidays for those with Alzheimer’s or Related Dementias – December 2017

It’s the most wonderful time of the year as families across the globe plan to celebrate Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanza and other special holidays with loved ones. December brings the promise of cheer and joy, as well as hope for a new year and a fresh start.

If you’ve read blog posts from prior months and have found yourself nodding your head in understand, we hope that your new year includes a call to Senior Housing Management to help restore peace of mind and bring cheer and joy to your senior loved one.

While many families opt to delay a decision to move an elderly loved one with Alzheimer’s or dementia until after the holidays, we implore you to consider the pros and cons of that decision. A time that many of us look forward to, can be very overwhelming for someone struggling with such a diagnosis. Below is a brief list of issues to consider as your celebrations approach:

  1. Manage Expectations – Traditions are important to all families when it comes to holidays, but if a loved ones’ Alzheimer’s or dementia has progressed to a significant point, expectations need to be adjusted. This could mean a change of venue, smaller gatherings or less travel.
  2. Communicate Clearly – Make sure that you’ve spoken with those attending your holiday gatherings, explaining your senior loved one’s condition. Asking someone with Alzheimer’s or dementia “Do you remember me?” can be very stressful and embarrassing if the answer is “No.” Information is power and can assist in making the day a smooth and enjoyable experience for all involved.
  3. Maintain Routine – Those diagnosed with Alzheimer’s or dementia respond more positively when a routine is established and maintained. As much as possible, try to stay consistent with this scheduled. This may mean avoiding overnight visits or mealtimes that vary greatly.

Senior Housing Management employs a team of industry experts who are on call to help answer your questions and provide resources to help you make informed decisions. More holiday advice can also be found on the Alzheimer’s Association’s website:

Allen Phillips, President – December 2017