We could all use some more jolly with our holly this year! People with dementia, however, might not always remember or understand why there’s a shortage in the first place, making its absence all the more upsetting.
“With many holiday traditions tied to social gatherings and out-of-home events, the 2020 holiday season won’t be very traditional for families caring for aging loved ones,” says Andrea Shapiro, Community Relations Director at YourLife™ of Coconut Creek, a Memory Care community in Coconut Creek, Florida. “Disheartened caregivers who are tempted to forgo the season completely may be comforted to know that even little nods to larger traditions and celebrations can make the holidays magical for their loved one with dementia – and brighter for themselves, as well.”
In this post, we’ll discuss six ‘dos’ to help you jingle all the way to a jolly holiday season.
- DO celebrate your family’s most beloved at-home traditions. These don’t have to be the grand affairs of holidays past to be meaningful. Decorate your loved one’s environment but go with a smaller tree and fewer decorations this year. Instead of spending days in the kitchen creating the perfect feast, give your parent a taste of the holidays with their favorite traditional side dish or dessert.
- DO involve your parent as much as possible. Help your loved one make simple decorations or ask them to choose their favorites to put on display. Invite them to make their signature dish or dessert with you. The natural aromatherapy and routine of creating a familiar recipe can help spark fond memories as you reminisce together about childhood Christmases, theirs and yours. Recall how they made the holidays extra special for you when they were a young parent.
- DO get creative. If your parent never missed a candlelit Christmas Eve service, light some candles, read the Christmas scriptures aloud, and sing seasonal hymns together.
- DO encourage your loved one to eat, drink, and be merry ... in moderation. The holidays and indulgence go together like pumpkin and pie, egg and nog. When plying your loved one with treats, be mindful of their dietary intolerances or doctor-ordered restrictions. Too much of a sweet – or salty or boozy – thing can sour more than one’s holiday spirits. When it’s time to cut loose, consider serving a festive mocktail or nonalcoholic eggnog and hot chocolate combo.
- DO continue to play it safe. For the safest visits, invite your loved one’s kids from one to ninety-two to wish them a happy holiday virtually. While the CDC does not endorse in-person visits at this time, it strongly advises those who choose to gather with people from outside households to adhere to these updated safety guidelines.
- DO embrace the comfort and joy that simplicity can bring. Depending on your loved one’s stage of dementia and/or tolerance for the traditional hustle and bustle of the season, they may prefer a quiet holiday spent at home with the people they love. Plus, a low-key holiday that triggers fewer anxieties, creates fewer disruptions to your parent’s reassuring routines, demands less energy from you, still honors your family’s most important holiday traditions, and doesn’t skimp on the pie can be just what you need to wrap up 2020 on a jollier note yourself.
Call today to learn how YourLife™ of Coconut Creek’s life enrichment team helps residents of all faiths celebrate holidays with meaning and joy! 954-228-6319
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YourLife™ of Coconut Creek was created to provide the most exceptional Memory Care and uplifting lifestyle for our residents. We focus all our energy, attention and resources on creating a community that caters to each resident’s personal needs, respects their choices and honors individuality while providing unmatched peace of mind and support for families.
Because Memory Care is our sole focus, we have the unique ability to design and personally tailor plans around our residents. We understand that each resident is an individual that has their own story, specific needs and retained abilities, so we develop personally inspired care plans that value and support each person’s independence.
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With YourStory, our signature programming, we create an individual experience centered around each resident. From cultural, educational and holistic health and wellness programming to outings and special events to personal care, assistance and therapies, we create days with meaning. At YourLife™ of Coconut Creek, our residents and families know that this is a community designed for you, with a lifestyle defined by you. Contact us to learn more!
Call us at 954-228-6319 for more information or to schedule a personal visit today.