Keeping the Holidays Sparkling, Despite Dementia

Dementia is a disease of the mind, which can be unpredictable and difficult for family members to understand. And holidays are a time where expectations are high and family traditions are in full swing. How can you make holidays with a loved one who has dementia a happy time?

Being more flexible with holiday traditions and engaging in some planning might make everyone a little happier, says Tim Tholen, CEO and Founder of Thoughtful Health Care and its affiliates in Kansas City.

In the “Preparing for the Holidays” video, we take a look at planning for a great holiday season with a loved one who has dementia.

Watch the “Preparing for Holidays” video below.

Setting Expectations

Because dementia progresses at uneven rates, friends and family from out of town might not know what to expect. Try these ideas to help get everyone on the same page:

  1. Make a few phone calls to get expectations on the same page. This can do a lot to help prepare your guests.
  2. Share some information with your family about dementia, such as the fact that dementia is a disease that can cause certain behaviors, and these behaviors are not supposed to be taken personally.
  3. Give friends and family with a few concrete tips, such as “Mom get overwhelmed when it’s too noisy,” or, “Grandpa might repeat himself a lot, just be patient.”

How to Make Holiday Magic

  • Try making flexible plans. If your family wants to stick to specific holiday traditions, factor in some alternatives for the loved one with dementia.
  • A person with dementia might not be able to be able to sit through long events or services, so allow for some leeway.
  • Keep an eye out for signs of overwhelm– this can help prevent behaviors.
  • Do what you can to take the regular schedule into consideration and keep things familiar.
  • Make sure to ask for help if you need it. If you find yourself irritable or tired, ask a family member to step in for a bit and take a breather.

Give us a call! Our professional caregivers at Thoughtful Health Care are here to support you, and can help with holiday events and outings with your loved one as part of a routine. Please feel free to contact us for more information.

Click here for more Alzheimer and dementia care videos.

For more information about Thoughtful Care visit the Thoughtful Healthcare website.