Tips for a Less Stressful Holiday Season
There can be good deal of confusion for anyone during the holidays,
with the hustle and bustle of preparing for extra company, fixing
special meals and playing the host while trying to enjoy the whole
experience as well. For a caregiver of a loved one living with
Alzheimer's disease, this time can add a whole new set of strains to an
already stressful situation.
Six Seasonal CareTips:
to include your loved one in some holiday preparations. Give
him or her something to do that is within their abilities
and that will make them feel useful. Occupying their time
will help you get other things done as well.
Maintain a sense of familiarity. Go easy on the
decorations, and don’t move too much furniture to accommodate trees or
other objects. Changing familiar surroundings can lead to confusion,
especially for someone with memory or physical challenges. Extra cords,
fragile decorations, and piles of gifts can be hazards to those with
With all of the holiday hubbub, your loved one
could become more confused and agitated. Try to limit the number of
guests in your home at one time, and make sure that someone is always
aware of the whereabouts of your loved one. If he or she tends to
wander, there is a chance that this may happen when everyone thinks
someone else is “on watch.”
Ask for help! Don’t try to take on all of the
burdens of caring for your loved one and preparing for the holidays.
Something as simple as asking a neighbor or other relative to stay with
your loved one for a few hours while you get some shopping done can make
all the difference between a calm and a stressed-out holiday.
Visit the newly enhanced
Channel on caregiver.com to learn from articles such as “Helping
Children Understand Alzheimer’s” and “Holiday Gift Ideas.”
Most importantly, take time for yourself. Spend
an hour in a bubble bath, read a book, play in the snow. Do something
that you enjoy, and have fun. The holidays are about fun and enjoyment,
so make sure that you have some of both.
Knowing that this might be a last Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa,
etc., we may feel enormous pressure to make this time especially
significant for our loved ones. But keeping your level of expectations
realistic will make the day go smoother for you, your loved one,
extended family and friends. And that's something special in itself.