The holidays are coming and although COVID will still be around, some families will be gathering with their LOs regardless. The holidays can be a difficult time for those living with dementia. Those states that recognize daylight savings time will be going to standard time on Nov 1. That means for many it'll be dark around 5 o'clock. Our LOs with dementia will begin to experience sundowning much earlier than previously. The following are some tips to make the holiday more enjoyable for your LOs and the family.
Where to celebrate:
-If your LO is in a facility, celebrate there. Reserve a room. This is their home. Going somewhere else could confuse, disorient them. Do not go to restaurant. I reserved a room at my wife's facility so the family could be together for Thanksgiving 2017.
-If early stages or MCI, home or quiet location may be appropriate. Less busy restaurants may be also appropriate.
-Make the Celebration Less Elaborate
Tone it down:
-Large gatherings and loud conversations can be disorienting for someone with dementia
-Especially during COVID keep smaller intimate celebrations
-Finish early to minimize “sundowning”
Involve Your Loved One:
-Set/clear the table
-Sing familiar Christmas songs
-Play holiday music
-Look at family photos, reminisce
-Have a familiar food for your loved one
Rick Phelps has been diagnosed with EOAD. Dispite that, he has recorded several videos on how he deals with the disease. The following link is a short video on his experience in dealing with the holidays.
I wish the best for all of you.