We all want Christmas to be Merry! Here are a few more tips to reduce stress for both those dealing with dementia and family members! It IS possible to alter “old traditions”; build “new traditions” and truly enjoy your Christmas time with loved ones experiencing short-term memory loss.
Consider these tried and true tips:
- Got a large family that gets together for Christmas? Consider celebrating Christmas more than once! One day with your loved one with dementia and a small group of no more than 4 family members at a time and one for you and the larger group of family members.
- Limit visits to 10-15 minutes with rest periods between different groups of visitors or the return of the same group.
- Give gifts that can be enjoyed immediately such as bringing in their favorite foods/meal or services they can enjoy over the coming year such as massages.
- Gather old Christmas memories that are wonderful conversation starters and write them down for future use.
- And as we talked in previous tips, refrain from using the phrase “Do you remember…” by replacing it with “I was thinking about…”
- Don’t forget to watch their eyes. That’s how they will tell you they are done for now!
You will be creating the tools you can use to make every exchange with them, calm and enjoyable. Need a place to record those memories? Take a look at my Book and DVD Bundle.