Under normal circumstances, the holidays and special celebrations can be stressful. But, when you have a loved one with dementia, an added level of stress is a reality. As a family caregiver, not only do you have to plan and prepare for the upcoming events and all that entails, but you also need to continue to care for your family member with cognitive impairment. In addition to the physical aspects of the holidays, you and your loved one also must address the emotional aspects. Either of you may feel blue that the holidays and other celebrations will never be quite the same as they once were. Having helped many families with loved ones suffering from dementia, we’re happy to provide you with these tips on how you can create dementia-friendly holidays and celebrations for you, your family, and your loved ones.
Ask for assistance
Trying to do everything by yourself will only lead to frustration and exhaustion. Instead, ask friends and family members for help with things that need to be done before, during, and after the holiday or celebration is over.
Be specific with your requests. For example, ask for help organizing the gathering, getting groceries, taking your loved one for a short walk while you clean or rest, etc. When asked, you’ll find people will want to help, and some will even volunteer.
Also, consider respite care during the holidays and for special events. Having a professional caregiver come in and care for your senior will free you up to make preparations or get some well-deserved rest.
Build in rest periods
Because your loved one may not have the physical and mental stamina they once did, it’s essential that they not get over-tired during the holidays. Building in time for naps and general rest can help prevent anxiety or depression from cropping up for your loved one.
And, don’t forget that you need to pace yourself and take regular breaks. Using the services of a home care agency like HomeChoice Home Care Solutions can keep you rested and refreshed and make the holiday or event much more enjoyable for you.
Prepare family members
If family members or friends haven’t seen your loved one with dementia since its onset or since it’s progressed, tell them what to expect. For example, you may say, “When you visit, you’ll notice that Mom doesn’t remember names very well, and she’s much quieter than she used to be. Don’t take it personally – she’s not angry with you.”
In addition, coach family members on how they can best make your loved one comfortable. Let them know about the things your family member with dementia still likes to do, like listen to music, bake cookies, walk around the block, or just sit and chat.
Let HomeChoice Home Care Solutions Help
Our home care agency has been helping families in North Carolina for over 15 years. We offer a wide range of services that can help your senior continue to age comfortably in place.
Contact us today to arrange a free in-home consultation. We’ll develop a personalized care plan to help your loved one continue to live happily at home.