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Here are some tips to keep you healthy and end the year feeling great! With long shopping lists, holiday traffic, and crowded stores, running errands can become very stressful. One way to reduce stress is to be organized about where you need to go and what you need get done. Dedicate time each week to accomplish different tasks, don't try to do everything all in one day.
It's hard to say no to holiday get-togethers.
"Helpful Holiday Hints" presented by Foothills Christian Women's Club
But when you say yes to everything, you risk not getting enough rest or being too busy to truly enjoy the season. Commit to only 1 event per workweek and 1 event per weekend if possible. With extra activities to attend to during the holidays, it's easy to brush off our exercise routines. But keeping up your exercise routines will help burn off those holiday sweets calories and can help reduce stress.
Prepare quiet distractions to use, such as a family photo album, if the person with dementia becomes upset or agitated. Also try to stay away from loud noises, lighting that is too bright or too dark, and having too much rich food or drink especially alcohol.
Find time for holiday activities you like to do. Preparing for guests Preparing guests ahead of time will equip them with what to expect, as well as eliminate the need to talk about the person with dementia while they are present.
Helpful Hints to Keep Your Holiday Season Happy and Healthy
Give examples of unusual behaviors that may take place such as incontinence, eating food with fingers, wandering or hallucinations. Suggest activities or topics of conversation that you know the person can engage in. Explain that memory loss is the result of the disease and is not intentional. Stress that the meaningfulness of the moment together matters more than what the person remembers or says. Each day, explain who the visitor is while showing the photo.
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Holidays can be meaningful enriching times for both the person with ADRD and family. Maintaining or adapting old family rituals and traditions helps all family members feel a sense of belonging and family identity. For a person with ADRD, this link with a familiar past is reassuring and builds self-esteem i.
Set your own limits early, and be clear about them with others. You do not have to live up to the expectations of friends or relatives.
Your situation is different now. Keep the number of persons visiting at one time to a minimum, or try a few persons visiting quietly with the person with ADRD in a separate room. Most individuals with ADRD can pull it together for brief periods, if they have adequate private rest in between.
Try some simple holiday preparations with the person with ADRD several days ahead. Just observing your preparations will familiarize them with the upcoming festivities; if they participate with you, they experience the pleasure of helping and giving as well as the fun of anticipation and reminiscence.
Don't Miss A Thing!
Prepare potential quiet distractions a family photo album or a simple repetitive chore like cracking nuts to use if the person with ADRD becomes upset or over-stimulated. Try to avoid situations that further confuse or frustrate many persons with ADRD: Crowds of people who expect the person to remember them Noise, loud conversations, or loud music Strange or different surroundings Changes in light intensity: too bright or too dark Over-indulgence in rich or special food or drink especially alcohol Change in regular routine and sleep patterns Try scheduling activities, especially some outdoor exercise, early in the day to avoid the fatigue from added activity at the end of a long day.
Familiar holiday music, storytelling, singing, or church services even on TV may be especially enjoyable. Enjoy the chance to be with friends and family who love you and enjoy your company, with or without your relative.