Tips for Alzheimer’s Caregivers: Surviving the Holiday Season

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Alzheimer’s Disease is one of the most prevalent forms of dementia that impacts older adults. It is defined by problems with memory, thinking, and behavior. Unfortunately, symptoms of Alzheimer’s worsen over time until it interferes with daily tasks. As a caregiver of someone with Alzheimer’s Disease, the holiday season can be both joyful and stressful. In addition to the standard caregiving tasks you must tend to each day, you also face the potential confusion and anxiety that the holidays cause for your loved one with Alzheimer’s. These tips will help you navigate the holiday season and make it a positive experience for you and your loved one.

It’s All About Balance

Balance is the key to a happy life. This is especially true for caregivers of people with Alzheimer’s. It is important to define your expectations for the holiday season and be honest about what you can handle. You should also do the same for your loved one. Select the holidays that are important to you, plan a way to celebrate them to include your loved one with Alzheimer’s as much as possible, and don’t be afraid to simplify events to make them less stressful. More than anything, remember that your situation now as a caretaker is different; don’t feel obligated to live up to the expectations of friends or relatives.

Prepare Guests Ahead of Time

If you and your person with Alzheimer’s will be spending time with friends and family members who are not familiar with the effects of Alzheimer’s, things will go smoother if you prepare guests ahead of time. Remind them of the unusual behaviors, like wandering around or having outbursts, that your loved one might do. Also emphasize that the meaningfulness of moments together should be cherished.

Prepare Your Loved One With Alzheimer’s, Too

While your loved one with Alzheimer’s probably won’t be entirely aware of what is going on during the holiday season, you can work to make his experience as enjoyable as possible by preparing him for what’s to come. Show him photographs of holiday guests beginning a week before their arrival. Daily reminders might trigger recognition. You can also include your loved one in simple holiday activities such as decorating a tree or listening to carols. Otherwise, keep his routine as normal as possible to avoid fatigue.

With simple preparation efforts, your holiday season with your loved one with Alzheimer’s can be as enjoyable as possible. For support regarding health care surrogate designations, Medicaid planning, power of attorney, and other essential estate planning components for the elderly with Alzheimer’s, reach out to the Law Offices of Kimberly K. Muenter in Tampa, Florida. Attorney Muenter can answer all of your questions and make sure you are prepared for whatever may come. Call 941.567.1671 to get started.