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Sharon Major, Director of Marketing and Community Relations, at Impressions Memory Care at Bryn Mawr in Bryn Mawr, Pa., says, “For most of us, the holiday season is a very special time of year. We focus on the importance of our families and friends while recalling the many blessings we enjoy. It is also a unique time of sharing, faith and festive social occasions filled with the spirit and joy of the season.
“However, as we have all experienced, the holidays can be also be an extremely busy time. The hustle and bustle of the season is punctuated by full social calendars, overflowing ‘to-do’ lists, long lines of shoppers and traffic jams at our favorite stores and shopping malls. As much as the holidays are a time of good cheer, they can also be very stressful and exhausting.
“This is especially true for at-home caregivers and families of loved ones living with Alzheimer’s disease or other forms of dementia. In fact, the holiday season can be physically and emotionally draining and even overwhelming for primary caregivers who are attempting to keep up with the demands of the season and the needs of their loved ones with memory loss.”
Be honest with yourself. You can’t do it all! And you deserve to enjoy the holidays, too!
Memory care experts at the Mayo Clinic explain, “As a caregiver, it isn't realistic to think that you will have the time or the energy to participate in all of the holiday activities as you once did. Yet, by adjusting your expectations and modifying some traditions, you can still find meaning and joy for you and your family.”
A good way to start is by considering which aspects of the holiday season are most important and hold the most meaning for you and your family. The article “Holiday Stress Assessment for Caregivers” provides a simple chart that can be helpful in deciding which activities you want to retain and which ones you can do without.
To further assist you,the Alzheimer’s Association article “Holidays and Alzheimer's Families” and the Mayo Clinic article “Alzheimer's: Tips to make holidays more enjoyable” offer many usefultips to keep your holidays calm yet bright. Highlights include:
A gift certificate for respite care is a great idea for both of you. It affords your loved one a change of scenery while providing you with some valuable “me time” away from your caregiving duties to relax and do some of the things you haven’t had time for.
In summary, the Mayo Clinic article says it best: “Remember, you can't control the progress of Alzheimer's or protect your loved one from all distress — but by planning and setting firm boundaries, you can avoid needless holiday stress and enjoy the warmth of the season.”
If you have comments about questions on our blog, we’d love to hear from you. We also encourage you to share any of your caregiving experiences in our comments section.
Loved ones with Alzheimer’s disease or other memory impairments require specialized care and support. They also deserve a lifestyle rich in dignity and fulfillment. Impressions Memory Care at Bryn Mawr provides residents with Engaging Days and Meaningful Moments that emphasize individual abilities, encourage socialization and promote the highest level of independence possible. We offer a complete continuum of leading-edge programs, services and amenities that address the total physical, emotional and social needs of residents in a caring setting that offers individual suites with large private baths and the comforts of home. Our community touches hearts and changes lives.
Memory loss caused by Alzheimer’s disease, dementia or another form of memory impairment doesn’t only affect the person who has it – it affects the entire family.
If you have a loved one with early- to mid-stage memory loss, you know how challenging it can be to provide the care that’s needed while trying to maintain balance in your life. As care needs increase, you may not be able to meet them physically or emotionally. It’s often difficult to be available to care for your loved one’s health and well-being around the clock.
If and when the time comes to seek additional help, place your trust in Impressions Memory Care at Bryn Mawr. We lift the stresses and worries of being a caregiver from your shoulders, enabling you and your family to enjoy time with your loved one again. For more information, please call Sharon at (484) 380-5400,or contact us online.
Disclaimer: The articles and tip sheets on this website are offered by Saunders House/Bryn Mawr Terrace and Main Line Senior Care Alliance for general informational and educational purposes and do not constitute legal or medical advice. For legal or medical advice, please contact your attorney or physician.