THE HOLIDAYS BRING IN MUCH JOY and a time of reflection. But this time of year can also be enormously stressful for the family and caregivers of someone with dementia. Making the holidays meaningful for a loved one in memory care in Mesa, Arizona, can be challenging.
Our job as caretakers is to meet the ones with dementia where they are. Learning how to care for your loved one with Alzheimer’s or another form of dementia can be complicated. We must be prepared to simplify activities and expectations and always be ready for whatever happens.
The holidays can be particularly tricky for the caregiver to navigate fun and enjoyable activities for their loved one with Alzheimer’s and dementia. Don’t forget to approach all activities with the understanding that some situations may need to end even before they have begun.
Some activities may enliven the person in dementia care and evoke years gone by and special, cherished memories. Find the activities met with enthusiasm and create new family traditions around them.
Below are some holiday activities that may be undemanding and simple for your loved one in memory care in Mesa:
Bake holiday treats. Please keep it simple. Bake the cookies ahead of time, so they are ready for decorations. If baking seems overwhelming or you no longer have time, buy premade cookies to frost together with other family members.
Enjoy holiday movies. Have holiday movies queued up and ready to go. Curl up on the sofa for a cozy night together.
See Christmas lights. Take a drive around the festive neighborhoods to enjoy the Christmas light decorations exhibited for your viewing pleasure.
Listen to music. Music can bring back emotions and memories and link to a person’s past. Music also delays cognitive decline and promotes brain plasticity in the elderly with dementia. So turn on the Christmas oldies but goodies, and enjoy a walk back in time.
Arts and Crafts. Make garlands of popcorn or colored paper. Or infuse the holiday with evocative hints of warm holiday pasts by making pomanders.
Holiday events. Some loved ones may enjoy a holiday concert, but be prepared to leave earlier if they start feeling agitated.
Reminisce with Family Members. Make a warm holiday beverage of your choosing and go through an old family album with your loved one; perhaps a long-ago memory will emerge. Including them in small family gatherings can have a lot of positive benefits.
Just remember that less is more and to enjoy the precious little moments together with your loved one. Slow the pace down and leave plenty of time between activities for rest.
Visit Memory Care in Mesa
At The Summit at Sunland Springs, our senior living community program is designed to provide the highest level of care for those with all forms of memory loss. We offer assisted living and memory care in Mesa, Arizona.