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Enjoying the Holidays with Dementia Care

Posted by on 12/7/2012 to Wellness for Caregivers

Enjoying the Holidays with the Person with Dementia

  • Think of some activities you can do together that will spark conversations and memories of the holidays.  This list of 12 Days of Holiday Alzheimer's Activities will get you started.
  • Communicate with others - Talk to potential guests before they come to inform them about the individual's current condition and any tips or concerns you have. You might provide games, puzzle, or picture books that can be enjoyed together, if the person has trouble carrying on conversations.
  • Stick with the familiar - Staying at locations familar to the person will help minimize disorientation and anxiety. Participating in familar, yet simple, holiday traditions can help trigger long-term memories and joy. For instance, favorite hymns, foods, or scents are simple traditions that can be enjoyed.
  • Avoid overstimulation - The person with Alzheimer's or other form of dementia can be easily overstimulated, so pare down activities and noise. Having small groups of visitors over a longer period of time will be better than large group gatherings. Or, if it is a large gathering, have the person in another room, with pairs of people at a time coming in to visit.
  • Set realistic expectations - Know the limit of your loved one and of yourself. Make a plan that you are comfortable with and be flexible so that plans can be modified, if needed.
  • Create a moment for yourself - Ask others for help, to allow you a bit of time to enjoy the season yourself. Even if it is only enough time for a cup of tea and plate of cookies, it will help to reenergize you.
large piece puzzle



trina joyce
Date: 12/16/2015
I took a coloring book and pencils the last time I visited my mom. She seemed to enjoy it once she got started but had trouble deciding which colors to use where. The NA explained to me that I was offering too many color choices and that I should offer suggestions as well. That made a difference. Maybe you could find or publish a coloring book of "antique" pictures that people of her age might remember. Coloring books seem to be the rage right now. I also was lucky to find about 60 very old movies (6 and 8 mm back to when my mother was a baby) that I had transferred to CD's and she really got a kick out of that. I have a ton of old family photos that I hope to assemble into some kind of order and put in a book, but she may not live to see that project completed! But she has seen the photos and identified some people. And that was fun too. PS-I tried to write this comment in another box that I got to somehow but found it really frustrating to figure out how to leave a message. Glad I found this box!
Monica from MindStart
Date: 12/17/2015
Thanks for the message Trina. Sorry you had difficulty leaving a comment the first try but glad this worked for you! Sounds like you have found some great activities to do with your mom. Like you said, finding the right kind of adult-coloring book for the person with dementia can be challenge. I like your idea but for now, see our Butterflies color book and Flowers color book at http://www.mind-start.com/Flowers-Coloring-Book-_p_88.html

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