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Holiday Tips & Activities for Those with Alzheimer’s

For those with Alzheimer’s disease or another form of dementia, the holiday season can be confusing, distressing, and overwhelming. At AAging Better In-Home Care, we’ve established some tried and true methods to help senior clients with dementia feel calmer and safer during the hectic pace and unpredictable nature of the holidays:

  • Stretch out the celebration. Rather than opening a pile of gifts at once, try just one or two at a time for a more low-key approach.

  • Keep it small. Host small get-together visits, stretched out over several days, instead of trying to incorporate someone with dementia into a large, noisy family or community party.

  • Maintain routines. As much as possible, hold fast to the routines that the loved one with dementia is accustomed to.

Since those with dementia can find repetitive activities soothing, we've incorporated some of these holiday activities into our routine care of our Alzheimer's clients:

  • String garlands. Using a long, heavy piece of thread and a darning needle, string cranberries, popcorn, and colorful o-shaped cereal. Hanging the completed garland outside can attract birds and allow the senior the opportunity to watch them enjoy the treats as well.

  • Make paper chains. This is a wonderful activity for the senior to work on with an older grandchild. Simply cut strips of brightly colored construction paper, curl around one another, and tape or staple to create a chain.

  • Create pomanders. With their soothing and perhaps familiar scents, pressing cloves into oranges can evoke a sense of calm, and the end result makes a beautiful and fragrant holiday decoration.

  • Crack nuts. Provide a large bowl of whole, shelled nuts and an old-fashioned nutcracker, and enjoy the activity with your senior loved one.

Most importantly, take time to slow down the family's pace during the holiday season to match that of the loved one with dementia. He or she will pick up on your sense of calm, which can reduce anxiety and agitation levels.

AAging Better In-Home Care, as an agency, is particularly dedicated to helping those with Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia live life to the fullest. Our specially trained caregivers and nursing staff who provide the services and assessments of Alzheimer's clients, allow family caregivers the opportunity to take some much-needed and well-deserved time away to rest and refresh themselves during the hectic holidays, knowing their loved ones are in the most dependable, capable and compassionate of hands. We understand the special nature of caring for Alzheimer's and dementia clients and consider it a privilege to do so.

To learn more, contact us anytime at 208-777-0308 in the Coeur d’Alene, Post Falls and Rathdrum areas, 208-263-7889 in the Sandpoint, Bonners Ferry or Priest River areas, or 208-784-1505 in the Kellogg, Pinehurst or Wallace areas. We answer our phones 24-hours a day, seven days-a-week with a real person. No automated answering services ever!

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