How to make the season happier for family members with dementia:
During this festive holiday season, it’s good to be aware that not everyone is going to enjoy all of the old holiday traditions. For family members or friends with dementia, the parties and gatherings, and all the extra hustle and bustle can actually be very stressful and taxing. We want to keep our beloved traditions alive, but some of them may need to be adjusted or adapted for the family member with dementia. One thing to try is to have smaller gatherings with less noise and confusion. This can cut down on the overwhelm some people may feel at this time of year.
One great activity to share with a loved one who has dementia is holiday music. This year, rather than having it on in the background, take some time to listen to it together, and maybe even sing along. Singing and music are often one thing that people with dementia can continue to remember or to participate in. Likewise, some people with dementia can still read aloud a familiar story, even if they can’t easily hold a conversation.
If you can adjust your expectations, and understand that this holiday season may be different than “the way we have always done it,” you are not as likely to be disappointed, and can find joy in new ways of doing traditional things.
Wishing you and yours the happiest of holidays, from all of us at Dyer Nursing Home and Rehabilitation Center.