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Saturday, November 24, 2018

Holidays and Alzheimers

We are in the midst of the holiday season. The Thanksgiving Turkey has been carved, Black Friday has occured and soon Christmas, Hanukah and Kwanza will be here. While many of us will be together to share memories there are those families that will celebrate bittersweet holiday season for one reason or another. Families that are dealing with Alzheimer's also deal with stressful and frustrating moments.

The excitement and business of the holidays can agitate, confuse and over stimulate individuals with Alzheimer's disease and dementias. This can leave caregivers a bit anxious, frustrated and lonely. This does not have to be with a bit of planning. Here are a few tips to help you prepare:

  • plan ahead of time of what might happen, what you will do and how you can help control the situation Have a family meeting to inform them of how they can help with the situation. Stand by a regular routine that includes a calm holiday that includes a noon meal rather than a dinner
  • Spend time enjoying yourself and the individuals with alzheimers visiting those that you love. A positive attitude will go a long way. 
  • Talk with your family member with allzheimers about family members and friends who will be at the celebration. See if a quiet room will be available if needed and schedule naps as well
  • Inform family and friends that useful practical gifts are appropriate 

IF you and your loved one will be traveling here are some tips that will help with their allzheimers:
  • never leave any individual with allzheimers alone
  • avoid peak travel times
  • maintain daily routines as closely as possible
  • allow a bit of extra time 
  • advise places you will be staying that an individual with allzheimers will be with you. 

The Allzheimer's Association is there for you 24 hours a day 7 days a week. Simply call 1-800-272-3900 to answer questions about warning signs and to assist persons with dementia and caregivers. The Helpline will be open all Christmas day and News Year day, as well as year round.

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