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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:

  1. Focus on the gifts family members still have to give those around them, rather than on what they’ve lost.
  2. 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.”
  3. Watch for signs of anxiety and quietly remove the loved one before they get overwhelmed by visual, auditory, and tactile over-stimulation.
  4. Use positive communication strategies: approach from the front, use eye contact, slow down, use short sentences and allow time for them to process information.
  5. Show what we want them to do through pictures or demonstrations.


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Wisconsin Alzheimer's Institute


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Date Published: 12/19/2014

News tag(s):  alzheimersholidayshealthy agingwellness

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