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How to spend the Holidays with a family member suffering from Alzheimer’s?

by Nyvia I. Rodríguez, BSW, MSW, CGG
Insignia Memory Care Program Director

Holidays are a good excuse to spend with family and friends. But what happens when in our family there is a person suffering from Alzheimer’s or another type of dementia? Holiday celebrations can become a real headache.

Alzheimer’s disease or other dementias not only affect the person who suffers from it but their family, social and care environments. These simple tips can help everyone fully enjoy the festivities:

• Include your loved one in the preparation, so that way, they will feel part of the activity.
• Avoid excessive decoration, as it can generate disorientation or sensory alterations that bother the person suffering from Alzheimer’s.
• Host parties in familiar settings to people with Alzheimer’s, following the established routine and thus avoiding insecurity, disorientation and bewilderment.
• Avoid excessive amounts of people, noise and stimuli that can extenuate the family member suffering from dementia.
• If your family member is in a long-term care facility, it may be convenient to hold a small family reunion at their place of residence or an excursion the day after the holidays.
Remember that Holiday gatherings are family endeavors that create stories that we can remember at other times. You should never force the situation. Simply enjoy the company of your loved one.

Garriga, J. (2015). ¿Cómo pasar las fiestas con una persona que padece Alzheimer? http://plenaidentidad.com/como-pasar-las-fiestas-con-una-persona-que-padece-alzheimer/


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