Coping with Holidays

HolidaysHolidays are bittersweet for many Alzheimer’s disease caregivers. The happy memories of the past contrast with the difficulties of the present, and extra demands on time and energy can seem overwhelming. Finding a balance between rest and activity can help.

Keep or adapt family traditions that are important to you. Include the person with Alzheimer’s as much as possible.

Recognize that things will be different, and be realistic about what you can do.

Encourage friends and family to visit. Limit the number of visitors at one time, and try to schedule visits during the time of day when the person is at his or her best.

Avoid crowds, changes in routine, and strange places that may cause confusion or agitation.

Do your best to enjoy yourself. Try to find time for the holiday things you like to do.

Ask a friend or family member to spend time with the person while you are out.

At larger gatherings such as weddings or family reunions, try to have a space available where the person can rest, be alone, or spend some time with a smaller number of people, if needed.