Dementia and the Holidays: Caregiving Tips

Can you believe we are already in November and celebrating Thanksgiving this week? What a year 2021 has been!

We are incredibly grateful that this year we are able to visit with our family and friends and enjoy holidays, celebrations, hugs, laughs, overeating, and much more. However, the holiday season is often a stressful time for those with dementia and their caregivers.

Preventing Confusion 

Unfortunately, parties, decorated spaces, visitors, and interruptions in routine can leave those with dementia feeling agitated, confused, and overstimulated. The caregivers are often frustrated and anxious. Our Hurley Elder Care Law Care Coordinators often work with our families to suggest tips for getting through this exciting but often worrisome time.

Helpful Tips

The Alzheimer’s Association offers the following guidelines to minimize discomfort during this time of year.

  1. Prepare the person with dementia by discussing the holidays.
  2. Engage family members or friends to host a holiday event.
  3. Eliminate agitation by scheduling appropriate times for celebrations.
  4. Minimize the stress of travel by up-front planning; keep things simple.
  5. Plan for wheelchairs, quiet spaces or anything that might help.
  6. Minimize confusion by preparing everyone for the visitors.
  7. Keep to traditional, familiar, and safe activities for your loved one.
  8. Prepare visitors with an honest update and tips for communication with the person who has dementia.
  9. Suggest gift ideas that are comfortable and uncomplicated.
  10. Prepare a quiet room for naps and to keep your loved one from being overwhelmed.
  11. When decorating your home, avoid flashing lights. Make room for mobility aids.
  12. Properly place the person with dementia to ensure comfort and assign one person to keep an eye out for safety.
  13. Take care of yourself and keep your own spirits high during the holiday season.


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