Celebrating the Holidays with your Dementia Loved One

 HAPPY HOLIDAYS
HAPPY HOLIDAYS
  ANGELS ARE EVERYWHERE
ANGELS ARE EVERYWHERE
  lOVE YOU SO MUCH
lOVE YOU SO MUCH
  EXERCISE THAT BRAIN
EXERCISE THAT BRAIN
   LOOKS GOOD BUT NOT REAL
LOOKS GOOD BUT NOT REAL
  HO HO SANTA ? WHO?
HO HO SANTA ? WHO?
   LIFE CAN BE TOUGH
LIFE CAN BE TOUGH

suggestions

I was at one of my monthy meetings today and the subject was about celebrating the Holidays with your loved one who is suffering with Dementia..(Alzheimer disease)...and I just wanted to pass on some of the advice that we were given.

Stress can be avoided if you are the one caring for the loved one. Even if they are in a Home (other then yours) it is important to understand what precautions to take.

Avoid using decorations that look like candy, fruits or any food item...because they may try to eat them..It happens. Also make sure throw rugs are picked up or at least have a rubber backing. And make sure there are no electric cords on the floor where one might trip.

Try to celebrate in a familiar place...this will eliminate any confusion or fears that might be associated with strange places.

Try to keep the group smaller, because too many people can become overwhelming. So if you are having a lot of company...it may be best to have your loved one with you for the dessert time or the before dinner snacks. They really usually aren't big eaters.

Also to plan the celebration around the best time of the day for your loved one. My mom does good for a 2 hour period and is best in the late morning...or sometimes in the earlier afternoon. When it starts to get dark she is ready for sleep.

Try not to decorate your house all at once. This can confuse the individual..let them help with each process ( if living with you) .One room at a time isn't so scarey for them. (So they don't go to bed and wake up in a different house?)

If you are going outside the home it is best to check ahead for accessibility, not all homes or gathering places are appropriate.

Have a backup plan if it doesn't work? Have someone willing to take them back home or to the Insititution they may be living in.

Some elderly people don't enjoy the noises and laughter that many children make. And having too many people talking can be very agitating and confusing to them. They are unable to think about several things at one time..So speak slowly and in small phrases and with hand motions, also look them in the eyes...many read lips well if they have hearing problems or a hard time making connections. Be patient and also educate family and friends as to what is realistic.

Keep it simple and enjoy a peaceful Holiday.

"Gratitude is the inward feeling of kindness received. Thankfulness is the natural impulse to express that feeling. Thanksgiving is the following of that impulse."...henry van dyke

Comments 16 comments

topstuff profile image

topstuff 8 years ago

Suggestions sound nice G ma.Beautiful hub.


G-Ma Johnson profile image

G-Ma Johnson 8 years ago from NW in the land of the Free Author

thank You hun...long time no see...How are you? G-Ma :o) hugs


NYLady profile image

NYLady 8 years ago from White Plains, NY

Sorry about your Mom, G-Ma. Hope that you can celebrate a meaningful holiday. Hugs to you!


G-Ma Johnson profile image

G-Ma Johnson 8 years ago from NW in the land of the Free Author

Thank you dear...oh we will have a great time...she is fun...just doesn't last long...and likes where she stays a lot....God Bless...G-Ma :o) hugs


hubber-2009 profile image

hubber-2009 8 years ago from India

very good hub with scientific detials..


G-Ma Johnson profile image

G-Ma Johnson 8 years ago from NW in the land of the Free Author

yes a bit I suppose...Thanks for the comment and joining my fan club...G-Ma :o) Hugs


Mighty Mom profile image

Mighty Mom 8 years ago from Where Left is Right, CA

Hi G-Ma, your words of advice couldn't come at a better time for me. We thought last year would be our last holiday with my husband's dad. But he's still with us -- and a whole year "worse" in his disease. It's so comforting to read that a positive holiday experience CAN be had. Thanks for the tips. And I wish you and your mom a wonderful time together. MM


G-Ma Johnson profile image

G-Ma Johnson 8 years ago from NW in the land of the Free Author

well I wish you the best too my dear...Is a tough road but also a rewarding one..and to understand what they are going through  makes it easier to understand them...it  is not through any fault of their own...just we need to protect them from any harm... I am looking forward to as many more Holidays as we can have...am no longer afraid either...God Bless...G-Ma :o) Hugs


Mighty Mom profile image

Mighty Mom 8 years ago from Where Left is Right, CA

I hear ya, G-Ma. I'm so glad your mom is safe in a place she likes. We have moved my in=laws to a house about .6 miles from ours. But their wishes are to live "independently." My mother-in-law flat out refuses to entertain any form of group living (which at this stage would be tough to place them together anyway). We do worry about their safety. Our first attempt at an in-home caregiver didn't work out. My mother-in-law kept referring to him as Obama (his name is Abduhl).

We'll find a better match, I'm sure. And yes, you're so right. To understand what they're going through makes it easy to understand them. Right on! Hugs 2 u!


G-Ma Johnson profile image

G-Ma Johnson 8 years ago from NW in the land of the Free Author

Well dear there are day care places they can go...for a few hours (here anyways) and take it slowly it takes time and several caregivers sometime b4 you find a match... there is meals on wheels and home nurses and you can always call the Alzheimer association for advice...a couple of good reading books are "the 36 hour day" and a book written by a woman in Ore. called "Dancing with Rose" they are both very, very good. Thanks and good luck sweetie....G-Ma :o) Hugs


Ralph Deeds profile image

Ralph Deeds 8 years ago

Tough situation. Hope I never encounter it.


G-Ma Johnson profile image

G-Ma Johnson 8 years ago from NW in the land of the Free Author

I do too...but one out of every 4 people do...50 yrs. of age and on...Research research research...and prayers....thanks for stopping by my dear...G-Ma :o) Hugs


mhei profile image

mhei 8 years ago from Philippines

thanks for sharing this hub to us...I might be needing this sometimes soon..God bless:)


G-Ma Johnson profile image

G-Ma Johnson 8 years ago from NW in the land of the Free Author

Well God Bless you sweetie and feel free to ask me any questions you want...I may be able to answer some??? Thanks for joining my fan club and so glad to meet you...G-Ma :o) Hugs


ripplemaker profile image

ripplemaker 8 years ago from Cebu, Philippines

Hi G-Ma, this is pretty good advice. I wasn't aware about avoiding putting christmas decor that might look real to eat. My aunt also has Alzheimer and her granchildren will surely find this information useful. Thank you for sharing these helpful tips. And many hugs to you for doing such a wonderful job in taking care of your mom. :)


G-Ma Johnson profile image

G-Ma Johnson 8 years ago from NW in the land of the Free Author

Hi sweetie...and Thank you for your comment and your encouragement...also if it helps anyone else ,more goodness is done...there are many things to know about this dementing disease and as I said is different for each person...My Love to you G-Ma :o) Hugs

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