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The Sun-Times - Heber Springs, AR
  • Dementia and the holidays

  • As the caregiver encourage simple gifts that focus on present abilities, invite family and friends for shorter visits and consider scaling back on traditional holiday activities.
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  • Planning for the holidays is important. People with Alzheimer’s disease typically do well with routine and the simple pleasures of life. By planning for the holiday’s caregivers, family and friends can reduce the possibility of increased stimulation and stress for all concerned. Take positive steps to ensure that everyone enjoys the holiday festivities.
    As the caregiver encourage simple gifts that focus on present abilities, invite family and friends for shorter visits and consider scaling back on traditional holiday activities. Involve your loved one wherever you are able to do so. Keep things as safe as possible by avoiding unnecessary decorations, wires, lighting and plants such as mistletoe. Make sure there’s a quiet place for your loved one to retire to in case the hustle and bustle of the holiday season overwhelms him or her.
    Avoid alcohol and don’t forget include yourself in the equation of care. Take breaks when you get tired and give others the opportunity to serve you and your loved one.
    For more information on Alzheimer’s disease or managing the holidays please contact Alzheimer’s Arkansas at (800) 689-6090 or go to www.alzark.org.
    Janet Nelson, MA
    Outreach Director
    Alzheimer’s Arkansas

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