Everyone looks forward to the winter holidays, no matter what age, religion or ability. Traditionally, it’s a time to gather with friends and family, eat delicious food and enjoy concerts or other productions. However, when someone is affected with dementia, it can change how (and even if) these activities are worthwhile.

Home Care Services in San Mateo CA: Holidays and Dementia
Home Care Services in San Mateo CA: Holidays and Dementia

Family caregivers who are wondering how to create happy holidays for their aging relatives with dementia must find the right balance to meet their loved one’ needs. Here are just a few tips that family caregivers can incorporate this holiday season that may minimize the stress and anxiety for seniors with dementia.

Physical Health

Even though the aging relative’s mind is under siege, their physical body can still become fit and healthy. Nutritious food, regular exercise and restful sleep usually contribute to a more stable sensory experience in aging adults with dementia. Senior care providers should also pack along a snack and some water to help elderly relatives along the way.

Guest Management

If a family reunion or gathering is in the future, family caregiver may recognize that the procession of unfamiliar faces may cause severe anxiety and restlessness in those with dementia. It’s common for seniors to forget familiar names and faces of those that might be in attendance. Even so, being together with loved ones has a positive effect for all parties involved.

If guests haven’t been around the elderly person for a while, it’s a good idea to explain to them the limits of the disease and how it has affected the elderly person’s ability to recall people, places and things. Again, if the senior becomes agitated or overwhelmed, the family caregiver can be there to redirect the aging adult or find somewhere they can reduce stimulus for a while.

Keeping Seniors with Dementia Safe

Elderly adults with dementia tend to wander, as they convince themselves they have somewhere to go or a long-lost place they must get back to. It’s extremely important that the aging adult not be left alone. Family caregivers can rely on friends, other family members and senior care providers to be with the senior so they won’t get lost, leave the event or feel anxious with unfamiliar faces.

Other safety issues include avoiding open flames like candles, watching for obstacles that might cause a slip and fall accident and keeping them away from moving traffic. If seniors with dementia feel panicked or startled, they might grow very upset and might accidentally injure themselves or others as they struggle to feel safe again. It’s important that family caregivers plan for such a thing to happen, and work out what they will do to restore peace and calm to their aging relative.

With lots of preparation and the support of friends, family members and senior care providers, family caregivers can create the happiest of holidays for their aging relatives with dementia.

If you or an aging loved-one are considering hiring Home Care Services in San Mateo CA, call the caring staff at Aviva In-Home Care. Call today: (415) 795-2203

Evan Loevner, CEO