Thanksgiving is my holiday and our biggest annual family get together. I'll have around 22 people in my house as usual this year and I love it. This year my 95 y/o mom went into memory care. I'm the youngest, the only daughter, live close, watch over and visit regularly. She's really looking forward to the day. She has dementia, is legally blind, uses a walker because she falls all of the time. I'm going over to groom her ( she now will only wear the same jeans, the same 2 sweaters, won't let anyone wash her hair unless its a "hair stylist" and wears depends) prior and bringing her to my house. My daughter has committed to keeping an eye on her and accompanying her to her frequent bathroom visits. My brother is taking her back to her place afterwards. I cook the turkey, dressing, mashed potatoes and gravy and everyone else brings the rest of the fixings. Any advice from a seasoned family member on dementia moms at family gatherings? This was never an issue before her steady decline this year.

It is very sweet of you to want to include mom in the gathering. And sweet of your daughter to offer to assist with bathroom trips, and bro to see mom home again. I hope it works well, you have a plan.

My mom, eventually had to be left out of holiday celebrations, the noise, the crowd, caused mom such stress and confusion that her agitation became a problem. Instead, people would visit her in much smaller groups at the facility she was living in. Another idea is to celebrate the holidays with her at her home, the facility, and the activities that are planned.

As their disease progresses we need to adjust our expectations for ourselves and them. The activity, noise and many people will be exhausting for mom. She may want to leave early and maybe not eat at all. Be prepared for anything.
Helpful Answer (4)
Reply to gladimhere

We never had mom home for Thanksgiving after she entered a nursing home. Too much activity, too much chaos, noise and unfamiliarity.

Instead, we brought the celebration to mom on the weekend after Turkey day. Mom was able to visit with one person at a time and could go back to her room after about an hour. She found this all very exhausting.

Most facilities have something lovely planned for the residents on Thanksgiving. My mother seemed to enjoy being there for that.
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Reply to BarbBrooklyn

What a wonderful family, all working together, very blessed, indeed! It sounds like you have everything under control. Glad your mom will be with all her family during this special holiday. I would just take one step at a time and see how your mother does, and go from there. It seems she will be just fine with all her family present and she is looking forward to the visit, if your mother becomes overwhelmed by all the stimulation , perhaps it might be wise to sit with her in a quieter place for a bit, but with a family member present. Wishing you , mom and family a must enjoyable Thanksgiving!
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Reply to earlybird

I would have a plan b for mom.

A nice comfortable chair close to the bathroom, a couple of chairs around her so people can visit with her more intimately and where she won't be right in the path of rambunctious little people. A microclimate as it were.

Have a place that she can take a nap if needed and have brother ready to take her home when she is done, whether that is 20 minutes or 4 hours after arrival.

My dad's facility did holidays the weekend before, that way the residents could invite their families, we brought the sides to share, and then everyone could do what they wanted on the actual day.

I think that is great because it allowed the residents to feel like they were hosting the get together. The ones that didn't get agitated could linger and mingle, the ones that didn't enjoy the crowd, ate and went to their room. It really was lovely for the residents. And everyone of them enjoyed it.

Since this is a first, be prepared that anything could happen, and roll with the flow.

Happy Thanksgiving!
Helpful Answer (2)
Reply to Isthisrealyreal

Thanks for your thoughtful and helpful answers. I will use much of this advice and have a plan b in place. Thanks everyone and have a wonderful Thanksgiving!
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Reply to mymomisold

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