‘Tis the holiday season and family gatherings are a plenty. If you have a loved one living with dementia, these family gatherings can become overwhelming without the right planning and preparation.
Loud noises from laughter, conversation, television shows and music in the background paired with lots of food and drinks can quickly become chaotic to someone living with dementia. However, there are things you and your loved ones can do to make the experience pleasant for everyone.
It’s important that the time you do spend with someone living with dementia is pre-planned. Create a time to spend with this person that is quiet, calming, restful and non-stressful. Consider a segmented time during your gathering that is just for your closest family members and the family member living with dementia. Maybe you host a pre-party visit that is communicated prior to the larger gathering.
At all possible avoid family arguments, fights, complaints and disagreements in the presence of your family member living with dementia. It can create confusion and lead them feeling uneasy which can add to the stress. It’s best to have any upsetting conversations away from them.
Be Mindful of Food & Beverages
Ensure that your loved one doesn’t overeat or consume too much alcohol. It’s also best to keep any family members who have had a bit too much to drink away from this loved one. Also, try to ensure that the loved one with dementia experiences one thing at a time. Try to avoid playing games while watching tv and eating dessert. It can become overwhelming.
Create a Safe Place to Rest
Ensure that there is a room for your family member living with dementia that they can safely retreat to before, during and after the family gathering. They may need a place to rest and reset, and this room should be properly suited to meet their needs. Make sure to identify what space works best for your loved one ahead of time to make the necessary accommodations.
For more information about Melody Living’s memory support services, visit our Memory Support page or give us a call at 719.960.4005.