Making holidays less stressful for people who have Alzheimer’s or dementia

WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) –For people who have dementia or Alzheimer’s, the holidays can add extra stress due to a change in diet, companionship or routine.

Extra guests in the home, or holiday travel can become exhausting for patients and their caregivers, but there are things you can do to help reduce anxiety and increase feelings of love, connection and good cheer.

Madeline David, Volunteer Community Educator with the Alzheimer’s Association, says stress can accompany every holiday activity, from gatherings to gift-giving.

According to David, the key to approaching this holiday season is planning ahead for socializing, focusing on activities that bring happiness but not stress.

She also suggests taking a person-centered approach, tailored to specific needs of the person living with Alzheimer’s or dementia.

Other tips include preparing guests for changes in a patient’s cognition or behavior, making sure caregivers get breaks and assessing the safety of the environment.

For more tips for navigating the holiday season while caring for a loved one who has Alzheimer’s or dementia, visit here .

Categories: Community, New Hanover, News