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Making Holidays Special For Loved Ones With Alzheimer’s Disease

November 13, 2009
As Thanksgiving and the many other holidays of winter approach, caregivers may be overwhelmed by the prospect of planning celebrations on top of their daily responsibilities, especially if they are caring for a loved one with Alzheimer’s disease or another dementia. It can be disheartening to face the reality of family traditions that can no longer be exactly as they were. To help set realistic expectations and make needed adjustments yet still maintain the sense of family that’s important to you, the Alzheimer’s Association, an organization dedicated to raising public awareness of the Alzheimer crisis, is offering ideas to help make the holidays less stressful for families living with Alzheimer’s. The advice includes ways you can still involve the person with Alzheimer’s in holiday activities, like wrapping gifts, baking favorite holiday recipes together, looking through photo albums or scrapbooks and reminiscing about people in the pictures and past events, or just watching a favorite holiday movie together. For people who will be visiting a family coping with Alzheimer’s, the Alzheimer’s Association suggests learning all you can about the Alzheimer experience; this will help prepare you and make the visit a more positive experience for everyone. Know too that there are ways to celebrate the holidays when visiting a loved one living in a care facility. The Alzheimer’s Association suggests joining your loved one in any facility-planned holiday activities, bringing a favorite holiday food to share, singing holiday songs and reading a favorite holiday story or poem out loud. Visit http://www.alz.org/living_with_alzheimers_holidays.asp for more.