The holidays can be stressful enough. And if a loved one has Alzheimers’ Disease, that can make things more difficult. Here are some tips for caregivers from Houston Methodist Hospital’s Nantz National Alzheimer Center.
Hospital experts say making minor adjustments to family traditions can make all the difference.
They advise keeping your family member as involved as possible. Open cards together, discuss gift selections or give them simple baking tasks. Try to focus on the moment rather than results.
• Stick to your regular routine for both activities and medications. Don’t skip those day programs or doses of regular drugs.
• Make sure holiday decorations are safe. For example, lighted candles may be hazardous and large blinking lights can cause disorientation.
Keep activities simple. Reduce the number of visitors, simplify plans and allow a few days before and after an event to be quiet and relaxing.
• Look after yourself. Make a list of the usual things you do during the holidays and decide which ones you want to keep and which ones you can skip. Let others help you and be clear about what you need them to do. Include time away for yourself and things that help you restore your energy like exercise or massage.