Holidays are spent best with friends and family, but for those who know someone with Alzheimer’s it can be stressful and sad at times. When you’re a caregiver for someone with Alzheimer’s it’s important to remember to take care of yourself this holiday season as well. Here are some tips for families who might have a loved one impaired by Alzheimer’s.
Make sure to communicate to those you might encounter during the holidays that your ability to help out from time to time might be lessened due to your caregiving responsibilities. Discussing some differences in behavior that your loved one might exhibit will be beneficial to help those coming for the holidays understand.
People can help with communication by being patient, not interrupting or correcting, and giving the person time to finish his or her thoughts.
Another important step to help your loved one during the holiday season would be to include them in small tasks such as setting the table, helping prepare food, or wrapping gifts.
If your loved one becomes overstimulated or agitated, consider taking them on a walk in order to help them relax. Make sure to have a quiet space somewhere in case your loved one needs a moment to recharge or rest. Try to stay away from noise, loud conversations, loud music, lighting that is too bright or too dark, and having too much rich food or drink (especially alcohol).
While the holidays can be challenging while caring for a loved one, they don’t have to be something unpredictable.