It’s not unusual for seniors with memory care needs to find the holidays overwhelming. It can be difficult to navigate changes in routines and environments, loud social events, increased emphasis on food and drink, and other factors that may make it more challenging. It is important that loved ones with dementia feel included during holidays. Family is the true heart of holiday celebrations. Seniors often feel lonely or isolated at this time of the year. This is especially true if they are living alone or have lost their closest friends. what you can do is change your plans to best suit your loved ones who have Alzheimer’s or dementia.
Here are 7 ways to make the holidays more enjoyable for a senior with dementia:
Let them stick to a routine
Sudden changes can be upsetting or confusing for seniors needing memory care in Myrtle Beach. Simple considerations such as serving meals at the same time and in a familiar place can help.
Slowly make environmental changes
It’s a good idea for your loved one to spread decorations over several days if you are planning to decorate their living or bedroom. While decorations can bring joy and happiness to those with dementia, it is important to take the time to adjust to their needs. You may also slowly introduce the idea of assisted living to them and discuss their future.
Involve them in simple, but nostalgic activities
Ask them to help you bake holiday cookies and festive cupcakes. Or ask them to decorate a Christmas tree using ornaments passed down from one generation to another. It can be comforting and enjoyable for them to take part in familiar activities.
Prepare for family events
If you are taking your loved ones to a family event or party, make sure they have a place to go if they feel overwhelmed. Also, be clear with guests about your loved ones’ needs if necessary. Your loved one will be happier and more settled if you ask guests to lower the volume or refrain from using crackers or party poppers.
Reminisce on the good times
Many seniors with dementia enjoy the opportunity to relive old memories. It could be as simple as watching a favorite Christmas movie together or singing some of their favorite Christmas songs. This holiday season is a great time to reminisce on family memories. Why not create a digital album with old photos or videos that you can explore together?
Take time to consider their needs during mealtimes
Seniors with dementia often have difficulty eating. There are many reasons for these problems, such as decreased concentration, discomfort, depression, side effects from medication, and physical difficulties like chewing and swallowing. Avoid putting too much food on your loved one’s plate if they are having trouble eating. You may find that they are more comfortable with familiar foods than traditional festive dishes.
Ask them what they would like to do
Communicating with your loved ones is the best way for you to find out what works for you. Everyone is different and everyone has their own unique symptoms. Ask them to describe their ideal holiday celebration if they are able to communicate with you.
The holiday season can be a hectic time for families. It is difficult to think of ways to make your loved one feel included during this busy season. Although small modifications like those mentioned above may be helpful in certain cases. Always remember that every senior is unique. It is best to get professional help from experts at Reflections Assisted Living.
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Reflections Assisted Living at Carolina Forest
219 Middleburg Dr
Myrtle Beach, SC 29579