When someone in the family has dementia, two important facts need to be respected, particularly around the winter holidays:
We want to spend the time we can with our loved ones. Yet, people, noise and activity can easily overwhelm those with dementia.
From late November through the New Year, the days may be packed with holiday activities. For someone with Alzheimer’s or another form of dementia, this time of year can become stressful. A typical holiday gathering with the whole family might go something like this: Everyone is eating and drinking, laughing and talking – all at once. Some may be rehashing the same quarrel they’ve had for decades. However, a person with advanced dementia might be experiencing this festive holiday event quite differently from the rest of the family.
It’s easy to see how the best intentions of caring families can go wrong if they’re holding the same types of holiday events they’ve had for years. Change is natural in life, and you may need to adjust your family traditions to fit the changes due to dementia. Remember, the most important thing about the holidays is being together and having shared experiences.
ComForCare | At Your Side Home Care
Deborah Bier, PhD, has a master's in counseling psychology and a doctorate in therapeutic counseling. In addition, Debbie has obtained the following credentials: