Thanksgiving is a time for friends, family and togetherness. A time where you can talk about your favorite moments from “the good old days” and relive your funniest of memories. This is why many people enjoy the family get together that the holiday can bring, however, if your loved one has memory loss, it can be a little more difficult for them to enjoy the day.

“As caregivers of a loved one with memory loss know, big holiday gatherings and being asked if you remember a certain event can pose a large problem,” says Cristal Baer, Community Relations Director at YourLife™ of Tallahassee, a Memory Care community in Tallahassee, Florida. “Depending on your loved one’s particular form of memory loss, where they are in their journey and what they tend to remember, Thanksgiving can be a painful time. The good news is that reminiscing can be a good way to involve them while potentially helping them to remember certain events. Knowing what questions to ask, how to approach your loved one and understanding how you can stimulate their memory has the ability to help them to enjoy the holiday with those they love.”

How is this possible? By understanding how to connect with your loved one with memory loss based on their needs and planning meaningful reminiscence activities for everyone to enjoy. Help your loved one throughout the day by:

  • Refraining from having too many people visit your loved one all at once, or if you are hosting the holiday, plan it for your loved one’s best time of day.
  • Hosting a few visitors, as opposed to the whole family at once.
  • Creating a safe space for your loved one to retreat to if the event becomes too much for them.
  • Alerting family and friends to the status of their memory loss.
  • Understanding that asking them if they remember a certain event may cause them to feel upset or depressed if they do not.
  • Not taking their memory loss personally.
  • Including them in as many ways as you can.
  • Being patient and understanding.

4 Meaningful Reminiscence Activities for Thanksgiving

Once everyone understands that your loved one’s memory loss diagnosis, involve them in planning some meaningful reminiscence activities to help your loved one remember an array of things to be thankful for, as well as the good times they’ve had with those they love. Try some of the following tips.

  1. Bake a dessert together or have them help set up. We all know how the delicious smells of the kitchen can take us back to another place in time. If they are able, have them help you measure ingredients or help you bake. If this is difficult for them, ask them to help you set the table.
  2. Get out the old photo albums. Before friends and family arrive, get out the photo albums and share who will be visiting with your loved one. They are likely to remember faces and names if they are friends from long ago, but if they aren’t you may need to jog their memory and remind them.
  3. Watch the parade or get that game of football on the television. Many people have a tradition of spending the morning prepping food with the sounds of the parade and performances taking over. In the afternoon, some fight the drowsiness the turkey causes with some football. Make sure to recreate their beloved traditions and listen for any stories they may have of those times.
  4. Keep it simple. Each year, ask your loved one to create a gratitude list and record it. Then, get it out and read it. Add in some photographs, mementos and more to create a fun new Thanksgiving tradition.

For more information or ideas on how to reminisce with your loved one this Thanksgiving, contact a member of YourLife™ of Tallahassee. We would be happy to share our expert knowledge and help you enhance both you and your loved one’s holiday season. Give us a call today at 850-250-5671.

Inspired ● Engaged ● Fulfilled

If someone you love is living with memory loss, you want the very best for them. You’ll find it at YourLife™ of Tallahassee. Because Memory Care is all that we do, we have the unique ability to focus all our energy, attention and resources into creating an environment that caters to each resident’s needs, preferences and abilities while providing unequaled peace of mind and support for families.

We see each resident as an individual because we understand that each resident has their own story. Using this idea, we develop personally inspired care plans that value and support each person’s independence while creating beautiful days. No matter how much care they need, our team of attentive, caring YourLife™ Personal Care Specialists can provide assistance with all activities of daily living while providing reminders, guidance, support and cues. Even better, residents and their families experience true peace of mind knowing that expert care is on site 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Our personal touch doesn’t stop at our care. In fact, it’s only just the beginning. We create days that leave residents feeling Inspired. Engaged. Fulfilled through our signature programming, YourStory. With individual experiences centered around each resident, engaging outings, services and amenities, activities, dining and more, we create opportunities to learn and pursue new endeavors. At YourLife™ of Tallahassee, everything was designed for you, but it is defined by you, creating a lifestyle that makes every day a joy. Contact us to learn more!

Call us at ​850-250-5671 for more information or to schedule a personal visit today.

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