Ideas for Dementia and Enjoying the Holiday Season
Help For A Loved One with Dementia Enjoy the Holiday Season
The most common favorite gift is simply giving the gift of your presence. All of the following tips would be great for anyone, but there are also a few helpful considerations for those who have loved ones with dementia. The Alzheimer’s Association offers some thoughtful ideas gift-giving and spending quality time that we felt could truly make for a memorable holiday season for everyone.
Build on past traditions and memories. Focus on activities that are meaningful to the person with dementia. Your family member may find comfort in singing old holiday songs or looking through old photo albums.
Involve the person in holiday preparation. If possible, invite him or her to help prepare food, wrap packages, decorate or set the table. This could be as simple as handing you the lights as you place them on the Christmas tree. Be careful with lights, though. Blinking lights may confuse or scare a person with dementia, and decorations that look like food could be mistaken as edible.
Encourage safe and useful gifts for the person with dementia. Diminishing capacity may make some gifts unusable or even dangerous to a person with dementia. If someone asks for gift ideas, suggest items the person with dementia needs or can easily enjoy. Ideas include an identification bracelet, comfortable clothing, audiotapes of favorite music, videos and photo albums.
Put respite care on your wish list. If friends or family ask what you want for a gift, suggest a gift certificate or something that will help you take care of yourself as you care for your loved one. This could be a cleaning or household chore service, an offer to provide respite care, or something that provides you with a bit of rest and relaxation.