How to adjust holiday celebrations for families of a person with dementia.
Families who have a member with dementia may notice that events that were once happy holiday traditions can be stressful or taxing for a person with dementia. Here we offer some suggestions for making adjustments to your holiday gatherings or activities so everyone can enjoy them without causing distress for the person with dementia. We also want to avoid burnout for the caregivers.
A person with dementia may have once enjoyed big holiday gatherings, but now can be quite overwhelmed by the noise and commotion and all the people. It might be helpful to plan some smaller gatherings with a quieter atmosphere where the person with dementia can feel more comfortable.
There are ways you can use seasonal music and storytelling with a person who has dementia. Instead of using music in the background, take some time with your loved one to sit and actively listen to the songs, sing along, or play along. Many people with dementia are still able to enjoy singing, and the music can stimulate memories from the past.
Understanding that things are different now can help with the feelings of disappointment. Adapting your holiday traditions might mean that things have changed, but you can still find ways to enjoy reminiscing about past memorable holidays together.