The holidays can be a wonderful time spent with family and friends. However, when you’re making your holiday plans and want to include a loved one who is living with dementia, there are extra factors to consider. If they are currently receiving dementia care at home or other type of senior care, it’s important to know how to continue that care over the holidays, as well as what additional requirements they may have when being away from their normal environment and routine.
Some of the things that you’ll need to prepare may include:
- How will they react to unfamiliar surroundings?
- What daily activities and requirements will you have to plan for?
- What type of accommodation might work best to minimise confusion and to ensure safety?
Tips For Helping Dementia Patients Enjoy The Holidays
If your loved one is receiving senior care, a great place to start is by asking their caregivers for tips and advice on how to make the holidays enjoyable for them. Additionally, keep your expectations in check and remember that as much as there will be moments of joy, the holidays may be overwhelming for anyone living with dementia.
As you make your holiday plans, here are some helpful tips designed to help make your time together as enjoyable as possible.
When Staying Away From Home
Particularly for those in the later stages of dementia, travelling to unfamiliar places can be difficult. Ideally, make arrangements to stay at familiar relatives’ homes as much as possible. Familiar surroundings will offer the most comfort, and help to reduce anxiety and confusion.
Before your loved one living with dementia arrives, speak openly to all relatives that will be visiting about what to expect and how they can help make the time together successful. With extra family around, this may also be an ideal time for any regular family caregivers to take a break and practice some self-care.
Keep Safety Top Of Mind
Staying safe at home and when travelling relies planning and preparation. Safe senior care ensures that your loved one has a bag of essentials with them at all times. Essentials include things like medications, a change of clothes, comfort items, water, snacks, and a travel itinerary. A comprehensive travel itinerary with information about the destination should be distributed to emergency contacts back at home as well as given out to those you are travelling to see.
Additionally, it’s a good idea for the person with dementia to wear an identification bracelet and to carry contact information with them at all times. If you will be staying in a hotel, inform the staff in advance of any specific needs you may have so that they can be ready to assist you.
Adjust Past Traditions
It may not be feasible to partake in the same holiday traditions in the wake of dementia. While it can be hard to handle change, try and create a new take on old traditions. Revamp holiday activities so that everyone can still participate. Remember that time spent with family is the most important thing during the holidays, and that what activities you do mean less than being able to be together.
Senior Care Can Help This Holiday Season
If you have a loved one living with dementia, don’t be afraid to ask for help this holiday season. Options such as senior care or specific dementia care at home can provide extra support to make the holidays happier and more enjoyable for everyone. If you’d like to know more about dementia or other senior care services available in Mississauga, Oakville, Milton, and Burlington, contact iCare Home Health. We offer a wide variety of services designed to suit every client’s needs and have convenient, flexible service hours. If you’d like to learn more, book a complimentary consultation by calling iCare Home Health at (905) 491-6941.