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Preparing a Loved One with Alzheimer's or Dementia for the Holidays

Caregivers of a loved one struggling with memory loss know too well the frustration that comes with social interaction with even close friends or relatives. Your loved one can't help it, but you want them to enjoy their time with friends and family that care for. As the holiday season is fast approaching, and really for anytime of the year, here are a few things we suggest to help your loved one prepare for a great interaction with others.

1. Keep it familiar, and have an alternative plan.

During a busy holiday season, many want to travel to faraway places to celebrate, or perhaps visit family. One of the best things you can do to help your loved one enjoy the holidays or social gatherings is to keep the setting comfortable and familiar. Plan activities that they enjoy in environments that they have seen very frequently. New atmospheres an unfamiliar places can make your loved one very unsettled and uncomfortable. If things start to get overwhelming or you notice them becoming agitated and stressed in the circumstance, be prepared with a back up plan to bring your loved one back to feeling of comfort and peace. Maybe that that means bringing a few friends over to your house, or doing something most familiar to them. Keep the energy levels high and don't worry about traveling to a faraway place. Familiarity is always key.

2. Involve your loved one in the planning

Repetition is a large key to preparing someone with memory loss for an upcoming event. Planning things far in advance provides you multiple opportunities to communicate the details of with your loved one of what's to come. Let them know who's going to be there, show them pictures of those that are going to attend, share with them the details, and do it often. Ask your loved one to tell you recount familiar times past, related to the events you are planning. Right now you might also want to try creating familiar meals, music and smells that relate to past social gatherings. These can invoke familiar memories.

As always, you the caregiver, know your loved one best. And we are here to help you along the way in the journey of caring for your loved one who may be struggling with Alzheimer's, dementia and memory loss.

Ella Springs Assisted Living is here to provide advice and resources to caregivers and seniors in the process of transitioning to Assisted Living in Spring TX. We have an excellent secured memory care community located in Houston near Spring TX with a highly skilled staff available 24 hours a day. Learn more about our Senior Living Community or contact us to schedule a tour.

Posted by Ella Springs Senior Living on 10/20/2016

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