From family gatherings to bright decorations, what is an exciting time for some can be a stressful experience for others. For those undergoing memory care, as well as their family and friends, the holiday season can be especially overwhelming. Fortunately, those experiencing memory loss can still experience the full beauty of the holidays—all it takes is a little patience, compassion, and respect from those they love most.
How to Prepare for Family Holiday Gatherings with Dementia Sufferers
Preparing for the holidays is stressful in itself, let alone when you have the added strain of ensuring your senior loved one feels comfortable. Utilize these tips to ensure a fun and festive gathering, void of stress or discomfort:
- Communicate with attendees before the event—Not everybody is familiar with interacting with somebody experiencing memory loss. Connecting with family and friends prior to the event can help them understand the best ways to communicate. You may also discuss gift ideas for dementia patients so that they can most appropriately maintain this holiday tradition!
- Celebrate early in the day—Many dementia and Alzheimer’s patients experience symptoms during the evening time. Help your loved one feel most comfortable by celebrating during the brighter daylight hours.
- Host your gathering in a familiar environment—Celebrating the holidays at a new home or unfamiliar restaurant creates an added stress for those experiencing memory loss. Help them feel welcome by celebrating at a home they are familiar with or consider bringing the celebration to the memory care living facility where they reside.
- Serve traditional dishes and favorite meals—Similar to celebrating in a familiar environment, serving favorite dishes will help your loved one have an enjoyable experience. Plus, familiar scents and flavors serve as a stimulating aid to their senses.
- Be mindful of party size—Many dementia sufferers are overwhelmed by a large group of people. It is wise to keep the celebration to a smaller group of immediate family members of which your loved one already know
and feel comfortable with.
Making the Season Stress-Free for Everyone
At Poet’s Walk, we use our experience in memory care and our understanding of the unique needs of Alzheimer’s patients to help both our residents and their loved ones enjoy a season of grace and gratitude. There are many ways to make spending the holidays with the dementia sufferer in your life just as bright as every other year and we are happy to assist in your preparation!
We wish you and your family the best over the holidays. For any assistance preparing for the season or if you have any questions, contact us.