Dementia and Summer Gatherings
Remember when…? Holidays may be rich with tradition and fun, however for those with Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia holidays can bring about a focus on loss. By choosing an approach where you invite the individual you are caring for to help you, you can give them a sense of belonging and usefulness this holiday season. Be certain to give thanks and show your appreciation for their input.
The sparkle of the lights, glitter of the wrappings, holiday music, and fragrances may spark memorable moments. The season is rich with smells, sounds, and sights. While focusing on the process, always offer the opportunity to reminisce about days gone by. The longer term memory will hold more meaning than the here and now.
Here are a few suggestions to wrap up the holidays in happiness and hone in on meaningful times filled with fun and flexibility:
- Rhythmic activities: singing, listening to holiday music, telling familiar stories, reciting prayers and reading poetry
- Cards: listing, making, writing, reviewing, signing, sorting, delivering
- Decorating: make place cards, place mats, dinner menus, bows, wrapping
- Crafts: look through photographs, make an album, collage or ornaments
- Recipes/baking: measuring, kneading, rolling, crushing, spooning, stirring, peeling
- Preparing a meal: setting the table, folding napkins, washing vegetables, ripping lettuce, snapping beans
- Holiday Lights: in many areas it is dark early enough to get out for a ride to take in some of the sights of the beautiful decorations