Easter weekend is here, and we wanted to share a few tips for caregivers to people with dementia that could help in the holiday season:
Keep it simple – too many people, too much
noise, and too much activity can be overwhelming.
Maintain simple traditions – well-loved family
rituals are reassuring and provide a sense of belonging. Include the person
with dementia in activities – let him/her stir the cake batter or drop
spoonfuls of dough onto cookie sheets.
Create rest periods - for yourself and for the person
Save time for reminiscing – holiday memories are
good to savour.
Play favourite songs – music is soothing for everyone.
Prepare family and friends - Before visiting, let
family and friends know of any changes to the person with dementia’s condition.
Provide them with tips or suggestions to help reduce any anxiety.
Plan shorter, smaller visits - Keep social times
short for the person with dementia. For many, it is the cumulative effect of
noise, people and confusion that can be upsetting.
Adjust for meal times - Consider being flexible
to adjust the meal time for the person with dementia. Table talk can be loud
and hard to follow. A full plate of food can be just too much. Using a knife
and fork may now be difficult. Finger foods are always a good choice. A
separate table with one or two others could be set up.
Take care of yourself - Especially if you are a
caregiver, take care of yourself too at this busy time of year. When others
offer to help – say yes! Schedule time to recharge your batteries.
Take turns - In larger groups, arrange ahead of
time for each person to ‘take a turn’ supporting the person with dementia by staying
by the person’s side.
Engage one sense at a time - Overwhelming a
person with dementia is often an issue. If you’re having a conversation, avoid
playing music or having the TV on. If you’re outside and looking at the snowy
street, you don’t always need to be talking.
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