Holidays with Dementia

By Dr. Nicole Didyk

Posted Oct 23rd, 2019 in Caring for Others, GERI-Minute, Planning Ahead

Holidays with Dementia

Holidays can be stressful for many of us, and living with a family member with dementia that can add to that stress.  Here Dr. Didyk shares some tips to relieve some of that holiday pressure. 

The  holiday season is gearing up,  and what are three things that you can do to make the holidays better for your family member who's living with dementia?
 Here are three things that you can do that might make the holidays a little bit easier if you have a family member who's living with dementia.
1.     Keep it quiet

It's probably important to have an area at the gathering where it's like a little bit of an oasis for the person who's living with dementia, a quiet area away from all the hubbub where somebody could go to catch their breath and relax for a little while.

 2.     Keep it short

It may be that these gatherings are usually lasting four or five or six hours, maybe even longer. But for someone who's living with dementia, probably a shorter time duration is more likely to be free of stress and to go a bit better.

3.     Keep it a surprise

It's not the best idea to tell someone who's living with dementia that there's a big event coming up in a few weeks or even days.  It might be better to just sort of show up the day off and say that it's time to go over to Fred's house to have a family gathering that might avoid some of the anxiety that could quite commonly happen when there's a big event coming up and the person who's living with dementia might forget some of the details or be worried about it ahead of time. So keep it on the down low and only mention the gathering when the person needs to know.

I hope this is helpful and I hope you have a great holiday season. Remember, it's not going to go perfectly. It never does. But just be compassionate to yourself and try to relax.

1 comment

  • Wayne Henry on Dec 26th, 2020
    Great information. 'Quiet area' and 'keep it short' have worked well in my situatiom

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