KITCHENER – During the holidays it is not only hard for the person living with this disease, but it is also hard for family and friends to journey alongside and provide the required care.
Within the next 5 years an estimated 937,000 Canadians will be living with Alzheimer’s disease or some form of dementia.
- Safety is the highest consideration.
Keep things simple. Avoid decorations that look like food or candy. Limit sugar and alcohol consumption. Designate one strong person to assist with any travelling, even for short trips from the car to the front door.
- Determine what your expectations are and keep them realistic. Rather than long periods together with large groups. plan for shorter amounts of quality time, each with fewer family members.
- Ask yourself what traditions are most important? For each activity make a list weighing the challenges, for example, stairs, too many noise distractions, blinking lights, bathroom concerns, etc.
- You, and any hosts whose homes you might visit, will need to know what your loved one with dementia requires. Make a list identifying strategies to overcome each.
For example, if your loved one requires a quiet area, be sure to have a space readily available for them to rest and remove themselves from a crowd.
Joy Birch is the COO of Highview Residences, a specialized, purpose built care home for people with dementia. Joy combines years of operational and hands on experience to provide coping mechanisms that will help support caregivers this holiday season.
SOURCE Highview Residences