Handling holiday stress with dementia

LELAND, NC (WWAY) — Thanksgiving is upon us, and many families are gathering together to enjoy the holiday together. For those living with dementia or Alzheimer’s disease, those gatherings can be a stressful experience.

The Alzheimer’s Foundation of America (AFA) is sharing tips to make Thanksgiving gatherings more pleasurable for families affected by memory diseases.

Charles Fuschillo, Jr. is the president and CEO of AFA, and says the foundation’s goal during this time of year is to keep the family unit together.

“If you’re a caregiver for somebody with dementia, prepare your loved one,” Fuschillo said. “Tell them to be familiarized with the guests that are coming and show them photos or other stories about the people.”

Fuschillo says it also a good idea for those suffering from dementia or Alzheimer’s to keep to their typical routine as much as possible.

“If they have breakfast at a certain time, keep it during Thanksgiving day. Fuschillo said. “If they have lunch or dinner during a certain time of their daily activities, keep the same schedule during your Thanksgiving dinner as well.”

It could also be beneficial to have a quiet secluded room to retreat to in case the celebration becomes too much for your loved one.

“Play their favorite music, show them photo albums, anything that you may want to do to calm them down if they become too agitated or confused with a large crowd,” Fuschillo said.

For more information, you can visit AFA’s website.

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