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Planning a Special Thanksgiving for Seniors with Alzheimer’s or Dementia
October 20, 2015
Senior Care in Belmont CAThanksgiving is a wonderful time when family members can come together, enjoying each other’s company and a spirit of thankfulness. However, when an elderly family member is dealing with Alzheimer’s or dementia, the holiday may become more challenging. Even if the senior requires in-home elderly care, it’s still possible to plan a special Thanksgiving that the whole family will enjoy with a bit of preparation.
Inform Guests of the SituationSince Thanksgiving can be an emotional time, make sure to inform guests of the situation. Consider sending an email or letter to guests to inform them that they may notice changes in the senior. Let them know that the loved one may have difficult thinking clearly and remembering things, so they shouldn’t feel offended if this happens. Simply letting guests know what to expect can go a long way to ensuring Thanksgiving Day goes smoothly.
Keep Gatherings SmallIt may help the senior suffering from Alzheimer’s or dementia to keep the Thanksgiving celebration small. A lot of unfamiliar faces may be confusing to the senior, so smaller, intimate gatherings may be a better choice. Keeping gatherings small can reduce stress for everyone, including home care professionals that care for the ailing senior.
Stick with Familiar Thanksgiving TraditionsWhile it can be fun to start new traditions, sticking with familiar Thanksgiving traditions will make the senior more comfortable. Remember, dementia and Alzheimer’s are more likely to affect short-term memory, so there’s a good chance that the senior may remember Thanksgiving celebrations from years ago. Sticking with familiar traditions for the holiday may help them focus on those memories.
Get the Senior InvolvedGet the senior involved with Thanksgiving preparation. Depending on the individual’s abilities, it can be fun to let him or her help set the table, decorate for the holiday, or prepare Thanksgiving food. Let him or her get involved with meaningful activities that bring back happy memories of past Thanksgivings.
Maintain the RoutineRoutine is often important for seniors suffering from dementia or Alzheimer’s. Even on Thanksgiving, it’s a good idea to maintain the routine. Try to keep the senior on schedule throughout the day to avoid confusion. This lends a bit of familiarity to the day. Having elderly care professionals on hand to help will make it easier while allowing time to prepare the Thanksgiving meal.
If you or an aging loved one are looking for senior care services in Belmont, CA, please call Familiar Surroundings Home Care. Call today!
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