Enjoying the holidays with our loved ones
by Gail Arno, CMC, ECM Director of Care Management
Here we are again, sprinting our way into the December holiday season. What will things look like this year as we continue with the concerns of the pandemic, yet try to gather amongst friends and family members to enjoy all that the season means to us? We hope that this holiday month brings everyone together in a way that fills their soul with joy and happiness but that also brings them the least amount of stress and concern. We want to remind all our readers, clients, family members, and our own team members to slow down, enjoy the season and lessen the expectations that we all tend to heap upon our shoulders in the hopes that we sculpt the most perfect of holiday experiences.
Taking time to enjoy the holiday and not feeling that everything must shine and glitter allows one to slow down and enjoy that which is right in front of us. This can be a tough time for many as they reminisce and recall loved ones who are gone and traditions that are lost, so it may be best to slow down, reset expectations and give yourself and your loved ones the grace of the simple things in life, listening, being together, and sharing the love of family and friends near and far.
We offer you four simple ideas for easing the stress of the holidays for seniors with dementia and Alzheimer’s and which are overall good advice for us all as we plan and prepare for this coming season.
Minimize your own stress
People with Alzheimer’s disease and dementia are usually quite sensitive to others’ feelings and moods. If you are stressed and anxious, they can feel it and they may become stressed too.
Plan to modify family traditions
Minimize everyone’s stress by paring down and focusing on a few of the most meaningful family traditions and limiting your overboard efforts.
Let seniors get involved in planning and preparation
Focus on their current abilities and have them help with small tasks they can successfully accomplish for a feeling of engagement and involvement.
Limit holiday decorations
Use moderation when decorating. Too much clutter, décor, and the incessant twinkling of lights and the continual playing of holiday music may cause over stimulation and disorientation. Little bits of the season goes a long way for those with confusion.
Elder Care Management thanks our readership, our clients, and their families and loved ones for the opportunity to support our clients, and we wish you the most content and fulfilled holiday season imaginable. Happy Holidays from our team to your family. Looking forward to the New Year and hoping 2022 is the best yet for us all.