Wednesday Workshop – 5 Tips to Make the Holidays Easier for You
Hello and welcome to Wednesday Workshop. The holidays alone can be enough to send your stress levels through the roof, but layer on the responsibilities of caring for a loved one with Alzheimer’s or dementia and your holiday season can seriously become overwhelming. Don’t lose the magic of the holiday season, instead take some steps to plan for you and your loved one. You can find joy this holiday season by adapting and celebrating together.
Here are 5 tips to make the holiday season easier on you, the caregiver:
1. You can say no. You simply cannot do it all. Give yourself permission to limit how you will spend your time this holiday season. Let someone else host and enjoy their hospitality. Simplify your decorations. Bake a holiday treat instead of buying a ton of gifts.
2. Inform out of town visitors. Your loved one’s behavior may be changing. Inform your visitors, who have not seen them recently, what to expect. Let them know that they may no longer recognize them. Setting these expectations before they arrive can relieve the stress and anticipation for you and them.
3. Choose the time of day that is best. Many people who suffer from Alzheimer’s become more uncomfortable and agitated in the evening due to sundowning. Suggest that family meals be done in the morning, brunch, or lunch. Who knows, you might create a new tradition?
4. Ask for help. The holidays are about family and friends. Allow them to help you. Set up a buddy system at parties, so someone else can help you look after them. Have potluck meals, so the burden of all the shopping and cooking does not fall on you. Delegate shopping or meals prep to others who offer to help.
5. Set limits. Loved ones with dementia become tired very easily. Try to keep them to their routine as much as possible. Keep gatherings low key and short, or provide them a place to get away and lie down from the noise and activity.
As the caregiver of someone with Alzheimer’s or another form of dementia, you may have to adapt your holiday plans, but this does not mean that you have to miss the magic of the season. You may create new traditions or enjoy a simple, more relaxed season. You may find joy in the eyes of your loved one as they remember a past holiday. You will find gratitude in enjoying another holiday with some you love and care for.
To speak with us here at the Alzheimer’s Care Resource Center
Feel free to call us at (877) 760-9199. Thanks for watching today’s Wednesday Workshop and we’ll see you again next week!