There are times when certain events or celebrations occur. Making those holiday celebrations special for our loved ones with memory loss needs planning. Keeping in mind the patient’s health condition, things can be planned accordingly. Making the holiday celebrations special for our loved ones while taking care of them simultaneously is a thing to manage efficiently.
Such occasions bring families together. The bond between our relatives and loved ones increases when they meet each other. For making the holiday celebrations special, every person’s participation in the family is necessary.
Here are 7 Tips to Make Holiday Celebrations Special for a Loved One with Memory Loss:
1. Keep it a small affair:
For making the holiday celebrations special for our loved ones, the first and foremost step is to keep it small. The number of people that are invited should be limited. The closest of the lot. Your loved one can panic if the crowd gets too overwhelming to absorb. This is an important step to make the holiday celebrations special for the loved one. Keep the get-togethers as early as possible in the day. A breakfast meet is ideal for your loved one, as the mind is fresh. No loud noises are allowed as the patient might get disoriented and feel scared.
2. No disturbance in the patient’s routine:
As you’re into making the holiday celebrations special for your loved one, ensure their routine isn’t disturbed. Let them do the tasks they do every day. Especially the resting time. Sleep disturbances are not encouraged. Give them assurance that the arrived guests aren’t leaving anytime soon. Request the arrived guests to be there for some time and not leave soon. This will help in no feeling of disappointment in your loved one.
3. Give them tasks:
There are quite some tasks for preparing before an event, no matter how small or big. To make the holiday celebrations special for them and involve them in the preparations. Give them simple tasks to do. Peeling potatoes, washing the dishes, or peeling any other vegetable. This may not work for everyone. It may help your loved one to distract. Give them a task that requires less coordination. You can even give them a salad to mix.
4. Be in communication:
When trying your best to make the holiday celebrations special for them, don’t forget to be in communication with them. Before the event, during the event, or after it’s over talk to them whenever you get time. It’ll make them feel involved, important, and loved. It keeps them away from disorientation and distracts them from their negative thoughts. Being in touch always will help them substantially.
5. Make visitors aware:
There may be visitors who haven’t seen your loved one in a long time. Chances are your loved one won’t recognize them. The loved one’s appearance, behavior, or response may not be as expected for the visitor. Keep the visitor informed of it. The visual of the loved one may be disturbing. Make sure he doesn’t react in any way that will disturb your loved one. Give them a brief of what to say and what not to say in front of the patient.
6. Introduce again, if required:
In dementia or Alzheimers, forgetfulness is the main symptom. Do not claim that you know the person standing in front of them. Just do the introduction part again whenever needed. Insisting on them knowing the person but cannot recollect is a sign of bad treatment or disrespecting them. If possible, keep a family photo album at hand to show them. Remembering old references will help them remember those memories. At such gatherings, long-term memories help the loved one to remember people.
7. Ensure pre-event rest:
This is an important thing. For making the holiday celebrations special, give the loved one some rest right before the event is about to begin. As they enter with a rested and fresh mind, they will be able to gather and process the information about what’s happening around them. If the event involves traveling, make sure they have a seat for easily getting up and down from the vehicle. If you are going to someone’s place to attend an event, give them a separate room to be in a calm environment.
Follow these points for you to enjoy too:
Don’t you want to be in peace too? You need a change too from the routine. Already you have a more than full-time job at hand, so try to be at ease too. Here are some pointers for it:
1. Appoint a caretaker:
Even if you hesitantly agree, appoint a caretaker. You cannot handle all things alone. God forbid, but what if you aren’t present for your loved one and some mishap happens in the event? The whole atmosphere may get spoilt. It’s better to hire a caretaker for your loved one. He will be there continuously with the patient. He can handle it in the same manner as you.
2. Give responsibility:
Take help from other family members. Call some of them before the event is scheduled. Get help when you need it. You yourself need to retain your energy for the event. By giving responsibility, you will feel light and won’t be that tired.
3. Live the moment:
Dealing with memory loss patients is a depressing and a series of sad events. Be out of the caretaker role for some time. Go and mix with the invited people. Discuss things other than your loved one’s health. These meetings are a chance to increase the bonding with the extended family. We do not get a chance to meet them so often. So, be in the moment and forget your role for some time. You are allowed to do that.
These are some tips and tricks to make the holiday celebrations special for your loved ones. These are memories that we cherish for life. You want them to be perfect, don’t you? So follow the given steps, and make it a simple and crisp event. Enjoy the process. See to it that all the people involved like your loved one, the invited people, and you yourself are enjoying the event. This is the most important thing in the end. You cannot control everything.