Surviving The Holidays & Making Them Count

Many are anticipating the holidays with both excitement and trepidation. In fact, some may even feel like skipping Thanksgiving this year. Between taking care of elderly parents and getting the house ready for out-of-town guests, sometimes it just feels like too much to handle. The influx of family from out of town can be both a blessing and a curse. Siblings who come to town want to help, but might have different opinions on how Mom or Dad should be cared for.


As we prepare for the holiday season, we’re thinking about families, those who we serve and those who we haven’t met yet. We know this time of year can be challenging in many ways. It can bring a unique kind of stress for those caring for a loved one with Alzheimer’s and memory loss. We want to create a special, meaningful holiday for every generation involved, but that can sometimes be difficult for those whose memories and cognition are fading.


Coming into town and visiting aging parents may occasionally present surprises. Here are three vital things you should look out for on your upcoming visits:

  • Groceries (especially perishables): Are they out of date? Are the cabinets and refrigerator stocked appropriately?

  • Condition of the House: Is it clean? Is it cluttered or unsafe to move about? Has it been appropriately winterized? Are the bills and appointments being properly managed? Are heaps of soiled laundry piled up?

  • Health of Your Loved One: How is your loved one’s hygiene? How about their temperament? Do they seem lonely? Does your loved one seem confused and disconnected from the family conversation?

Here are a few tips from memory care experts on celebrating the holidays and creating a safe and loving environment for those with dementia and Alzheimer’s disease:

  • Keep it simple. Loud, busy parties may be overwhelming.

  • Focus on scents, textures, and flavors. A family cookie recipe, the sweater she wore every year, Christmas carols he or she liked to sing.

  • Don’t ask your loved one if they remember certain things. This can be frustrating and saddening for someone struggling with dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.

  • Take it moment by moment. Remember that the time you have with your loved one is special.

Making the decision to move into a long-term care facility can be one of the most challenging decisions that an individual and their family will ever make. But keep in mind that you’re not alone. Our mission is to improve the lives of seniors, their families, and each other. That means we are a resource if you have questions about senior living or senior care, even if you aren’t ready to consider a move yet.


Source: Surviving the Holidays & Making Them Count - Commonwealth Senior Living (commonwealthsl.com)

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