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Managing the Holidays with Alzheimer’s

As the holidays approach, many families might be finding themselves having to change their traditions with their loved ones who battle Alzheimer’s. They might be at a lost because they don’t know how to celebrate all the festivities when their loved ones can no longer understand the meaning of the holidays. Here are some basic tips and tidbits on how to help your loved one and family still enjoy the holiday season.

Music: The beauty of the holiday season is that many of the famous songs have been around since your loved one was a child. Individuals with Alzheimer’s remember songs from their childhood and those songs tend to bring them great cheer. So pick up a CD of classic Christmas songs and sing along with your loved one.

Decorations: Classic holiday decorations bring a smile to many faces and are symbols to all of holiday cheer. Whether is it a turkey, fall leaves, Santa, a Christmas tree, or even a snowman, add festive decorations in your house or in your loved one’s room at their Alzheimer’s assisted living. All of the decorations will bring back memories of the holiday spirit into you and your loved one, and that is something special you can share together.

Family Gatherings: You have to prepare yourself and your family that holiday gatherings will be different from what they were. Your loved one with Alzheimer’s will have a challenging time adapting to large group settings. Your family might have to change their holiday traditions to fit the needs of your loved one. Try visiting your loved one in small groups or make your family party simple and quiet.

Holiday Cards: For individuals with Alzheimer’s, getting any kind of personal note means a lot to them. Personalized holiday cards are a great way to help keep them connected to the holiday season while adding a special touch. Even though they may not remember receiving the card the next day, showing your loved one the card repeatedly will help them get a sense of the holidays many times.

Finding was to keep your loved one with Alzheimer’s engaged in the holidays isn’t easy. Many of the old traditions fade away as their memory begins to slip, but changing your family ways to suit them can be most helpful. Enjoy the little moments you share with your loved one. These moments are forever to be cherished.

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