No other season combines happiness and stress like the winter holidays. In the whirlwind of buying presents, cleaning the house, prepping meals, and making room for visiting relatives, it’s easy to reprioritize family interaction. And for families with memory care patients, spending time together and looking out for each other is doubly important. Newaldaya Lifescapes offers some ideas for keeping memory care patients safe, involved, and most of all, happy during the holidays.
Reignite Family Memories
Watching a familiar movie, looking through old photos, and listening to cherished songs can awaken fond memories in the minds of people requiring dementia memory care. Even if your loved one’s short-term memory isn’t as sharp as it once was, the sight of old family photos from years past could very well prompt them to recall vivid details about what was happening when the photo was taken, and who was involved.
Ask for Their Help
People who are part of our memory care assisted living program still want to contribute to everyday life and be part of the family. If there are daily tasks they can help you complete and that they seem interested in doing, encourage them to pitch in. Activities such as sweeping, wiping kitchen counters, and sorting holiday cards are terrific examples. Don’t worry about the end result – ultimately, it doesn’t really matter if they have your counters sparkling. What you’ll really be thankful for is the time you spent together.
Keep Them Safe
People with memory issues are prone to wandering. This can be dangerous for the person and worrisome for family and friends. Reasons why memory care patients might be prone to wander during the holidays include agitation and confusion, i.e. if they aren’t used to a room full of people during the holidays. And with all of the things going on and with people coming and going, it’s frighteningly easy for a family member with memory issues to wander off without anyone noticing. Our advice is to create a plan to prevent wandering and make sure everyone in the house knows it. Also, be vigilant for common warning signs such as an elderly family member appearing bored or restless and stating that the “need to find something,” or “have to be somewhere.”
While spending the holidays with someone suffering from Alzheimer’s and dementia can be stressful, it doesn’t mean you can’t laugh and enjoy time with your loved one and other family members. If Uncle Bill claims to have lost his car keys (even though he hasn’t driven for 10 years), ask him about his first car. If Grandma Ruth keeps mixing up your siblings’ names, laugh and ask her about her siblings. You’ll be surprised by their recall ability when they’re comfortable and smiling.
Learn More About NewAldaya Lifescapes
Memory care is an important part of the comprehensive skilled nursing care offered at NewAldaya Lifescapes. We understand the challenges associated with memory loss and an aging brain, and we know how to provide exceptional care for patients needing support for their symptoms.