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The busy holiday season can be a hectic time for anyone. However, for families with a loved one with memory loss resulting from Alzheimer’s disease or other forms of dementia, the holidays can bring an extra measure of stress and anxiety.
Memory loss experts say the best way to cope with the approaching holiday season is to anticipate the challenges and plan for them well in advance. By preparing early, you will be in the best position to keep things calm and manageable while still being able to enjoy the most important holiday festivities with your loved one with memory loss.
“Another important piece of advice for the primary caregivers of those with memory loss is to be honest with yourself and recognize that you can’t do it all. Be realistic and adjust your expectations for the holiday season accordingly,” says Steven Carney of Impressions Memory Care at Bryn Mawr, located in Bryn Mawr, PA.
“You might have to rethink your normal holiday schedule and traditional activities to accommodate your loved one’s symptoms of memory loss. But that doesn’t mean you can’t still enjoy the holidays and involve your loved one to the extent he or she is capable.”
Memory loss experts suggest focusing on the spirit of the holidays and those things that have the most meaning to you to guide your plans. You and your loved one with memory loss can also find joy in the holiday’s simple pleasures such as relaxing together, listening to favorite holiday music, watching old holiday movie favorites and reminiscing with photos of holidays past. By having a positive outlook, you can modify your usual holiday activities and still have meaningful, enjoyable time.
The good news for caregivers of loved ones with memory loss is that experts have a list of suggestions to make your holidays happy, but calm. Specifically, memory loss authorities at the Mayo Clinic, the Alzheimer’s Association® and Dementia Today offer excellent suggestions for preparing your loved one and the rest of your family for the holidays. For example:
As summarized by memory loss specialists at the Mayo Clinic, “As a caregiver, it isn't realistic to expect 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.”
If you have comments or questions about our blog on memory loss and the holidays, we’d love to hear from you. We also encourage you to share any of your caregiving experiences in our comments section.
In addition, we invite you to read our timely articles on current caregiver and memory loss topics posted on our website.
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 comfort of home. Our memory care 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.
Disclaimer: The articles and tip sheets on this website are offered by Impressions Memory Care at Bryn Mawr 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.