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Alzheimer's dementia Christmas holidays

Alzheimer’s, Dementia, and Holiday Celebrations

By The Editors | November 24th, 2021

Eleven Being Patient guides to making this holiday season not only festive but more enjoyable for family members living with cognitive decline, Alzheimer’s or dementia.

From music playlists, to Zoom how-to’s, to festive, dementia-friendly Thanksgiving activities, to a rundown on the brain science behind reminiscing about good old times, we’ve put together our list of favorite guides for celebrating the holiday season with older loved ones who are living with cognitive decline or dementia.

How to Make the Holidays More Dementia-Inclusive

  1. 4 Ways to Make a Holiday Gathering Dementia-Inclusive
    Do you have a family member living with Alzheimer’s or another form of dementia? Here are four bits of wisdom from dementia care expert Teepa Snow on making the holiday season more dementia-inclusive.
  2. 5 Festive (and Dementia-Friendly) Thanksgiving Activity Ideas
    Are you caring for someone with dementia this holiday season? Here are five expert-recommended dementia-friendly Thanksgiving activity ideas to try this year.
  3. How to Help a Family Member With Alzheimer’s Celebrate the Holidays
    Caregiving consultant Linda Jenkins shares wisdom about how to celebrate the holidays with family members who are living with dementia.
  4. A Patient’s Perspective: Navigating the Holidays With Alzheimer’s
    Being Patient reporter Phil Gutis shares his experience during a Christmas with early-onset Alzheimer’s.

Advice for Interacting With Loved Ones Who Are Living With Dementia

  1. A Scientific Reason to Recall Old Times With Your Loved Ones This Holiday
    To engage and include relatives living with early or mid-stage Alzheimer’s or dementia, get them talking about old times.
  2. For You and Yours: Enjoy Our Holiday Oldies Playlist
    Judy Garland, Frank Sinatra, Nat King Cole… classic holiday music to help tap into good old memories.
  3. ‘I Am The Very Same Person That You Knew Before:’ How To Talk To a Person With Dementia
    Misconceptions about dementia are prevalent, and for people living with the illness, they can make it all the more isolating. After a candid conversation with people living with neurodegeneration, Being Patient takes a closer look at ways to combat stigma, discomfort and discrimination around dementia.

How (and Why) to Include Family Members Who Can’t Celebrate In Person This Year

  1. How to Zoom With Your Grandparents This Holiday Season
    In the midst of the novel coronavirus pandemic, shifting family time to a digital space keeps older relatives safe while including them in the festivities — but just like real-life family get-togethers, it could also feel chaotic. Experts share ways to make sure this year’s holiday video visit is fun for all — including those living with conditions like Alzheimer’s.
  2. A Reason To Reach Out: The Therapeutic Power of a Phone Call
    Science says: Call your grandparents. A new study shows that regular phone calls could improve people’s mental health — a reminder of the value in reaching out to those feeling isolated, especially older adults who live alone.
  3. Zooming Their Way to Better Brain Health: Can Video Chats Slow Dementia?
    According to a recent study, older adults who use Zoom and other digital social platforms to communicate with friends and family experience slower cognitive decline than to people who don’t.
  4. Navigating Dementia, a Pandemic, and Thanksgiving Plans With Family
    As Thanksgiving approaches and the pandemic continues, families are navigating how to gather safely. Being Patient spoke with experts about safe ways to observe the holiday, even amidst COVID-19 restrictions.

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One thought on “Alzheimer’s, Dementia, and Holiday Celebrations

  1. I tried to find some humor while taking care of my mom with Alzheimer’s, and wrote about our travails called, “My Mother Has Alzheimer’s and My Dog has Tapeworms: A Caregiver’s Tale.” Being a caregiver can be stressful, and I found that a good laugh did wonders for everyone.

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