December is here and the holiday season is in full swing! Decorations are transforming our homes and gatherings are in the works. With just a few weeks left in the year, everyone is packing a lot into a short time. This hectic season can become especially overwhelming for those who have Alzheimer’s Disease, and for their caregivers. Below are a few tips to help restore the festive mood to the holidays.
Prepare for visitors:
Preparation can make all the difference. Whether it’s readying your home to be more accommodating for a family member suffering from Alzheimer’s or letting family members from out of town know how to help when they visit a loved one with Alzheimer’s, preparation is key.
If you are a caregiver expecting additional family or friends as guests this holiday season, consider updating them on changes in your loved one’s day-to-day life. Keeping friends and family members in the know about limitations, physical changes such as weight loss, and shifts in temperament can reduce stressful additions to an already stressful time.
If you are hosting an event where you expect someone in attendance who is suffering from Alzheimer’s, slight modifications can make your home a more welcoming place. Reducing slip-and-fall hazards or making space for wheelchair access are easy ways to be more accommodating.
Set realistic expectations:
Whether for yourself or for others, realistic expectations help make the holidays more enjoyable for all.
As a caregiver, it’s important to set realistic expectations of yourself. Don’t stretch yourself too thin. Over committing to events or volunteering for additional responsibilities can cause unnecessary stress. It’s also important to set realistic expectations for other people in your life. If you haven’t talked to your brother all year, don’t expect him to visit mom for the holidays. Don’t count on young children to avoid somewhat awkward questions about your loved one’s condition. Setting more realistic expectations of your loved ones can make the holidays more enjoyable for everyone.
Ask for help:
Caregiver burnout is very real. The holiday season can be especially taxing. We shared some tips to avoid caregiver burnout in a previous blog, which emphasizes that the best way to help others is to find help for yourself when you need it. Whether preparing for a holiday gathering or spreading Christmas cheer at a senior living community, an extra hand is always beneficial.
These are just a few of the ways to make this holiday season run more smoothly. We hope they allow you to enjoy more of the time you have with friends and family. If the topic of senior housing comes to the forefront this holiday season, we encourage you to reach out to your local advisor to learn how Oasis can help make the process as simple as possible.