Helping People with Alzheimer's Cope during Holiday Gatherings
Holidays and other family get-togethers can be stressful for people with dementia and their caregivers alike.
Suzanne Bottum-Jones, director of education and outreach at the Wisconsin Alzheimer's Institute, says that we can help set our loved ones up for success by following these five tips:
- Focus on the gifts family members still have to give those around them, rather than on what they’ve lost.
- Give cues. Instead of saying “Dad, you know who this is, right?,” instead help him succeed by prompting, “Dad, look who’s here, it’s Jane’s daughter, Brittany.”
- Watch for signs of anxiety and quietly remove the loved one before they get overwhelmed by visual, auditory, and tactile over-stimulation.
- Use positive communication strategies: approach from the front, use eye contact, slow down, use short sentences and allow time for them to process information.
- Show what we want them to do through pictures or demonstrations.
Date Published: 12/19/2014