Holiday Tips for Alzheimer’s Families

For families living with Alzheimer’s, a little planning and some adjusted expectations can help make the holidays more enjoyable–for those with Alzheimer’s and their caregivers alike. Following are some suggestions that might prove helpful this holiday season:

Suggestions for families and caregivers:

  • Give yourself permission to do only what you can reasonably manage
  • Choose holiday activities and traditions that are most important to you
  • Host a small family dinner instead of a throwing a big holiday party
  • Consider serving a catered or takeout holiday meal. Many grocery stores and restaurants offer meals to go.
  • Start a new tradition. Have a potluck dinner where family or friends each bring a dish

Activities you can do with the person with Alzheimer’s:

  • Wrap gifts
  • Bake favorite holiday recipes together. The person can stir batter or decorate cookies.
  • Set the table. Avoid centerpieces with candles and artificial fruits and berries that could be mistaken for edible snacks.
  • Talk about events to include in a holiday letter
  • Prepare simple foods such as appetizers
  • Read cards you receive together
  • Look through photo albums or scrapbooks. Reminisce about people in the pictures and past events.
  • Watch a favorite holiday movie
  • Sing favorite carols or read biblical passages

When the person lives in a care facility:

  • Consider joining your loved one in any facility-planned holiday activities
  • Bring a favorite holiday food to share
  • Sing holiday songs. Ask if other residents can join in.
  • Read a favorite holiday story or poem out loud

Dr. Jane Stewart at Optiminds has been helping people of all ages improve their cognitive and memory skills. Find out more about Optiminds programs by calling us today at (248) 496-0150 or email us at: jstewart@optimindsct.com. And be sure to visit our website at www.optimindsct.com.

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