Letter: Dementia and the holidays

Tuesday, December 12, 2017
Dementia and the holidays

Here are some tips for enjoying the holidays with people affected by dementia:

Got a large family that gets together for Christmas? Consider celebrating Christmas more than once – one day with your loved one with dementia and a small group of no more than four family members at a time and one for you and the larger group of family members.

Limit visits to 10 to 15 minutes with rest periods between different groups of visitors or the return of the same group.

Give gifts that can be enjoyed immediately, such as bringing in their favorite foods/meal or services they can enjoy over the coming year, such as massages.

Gather old Christmas memories that are wonderful conversation starters and write them down for future use.

Refrain from using the phrase “Do you remember . . .” by replacing it with “I was thinking about . . .”

Don’t forget to watch their eyes. That’s how they will tell you they are done for now!