Creating Happy Holidays for Seniors with Dementia

Everyone looks forward to the winter holidays, no matter what age, religion or ability. Traditionally, it’s a time to gather with friends and family, eat delicious food and enjoy concerts or other productions. However, when someone is affected with dementia, it can change how (and even if) these activities are worthwhile.

Home Care Services in San Mateo CA: Holidays and Dementia
Home Care Services in San Mateo CA: Holidays and Dementia

Family caregivers who are wondering how to create happy holidays for their aging relatives with dementia must find the right balance to meet their loved one’ needs. Here are just a few tips that family caregivers can incorporate this holiday season that may minimize the stress and anxiety for seniors with dementia.

Physical Health

Even though the aging relative’s mind is under siege, their physical body can still become fit and healthy. Nutritious food, regular exercise and restful sleep usually contribute to a more stable sensory experience in aging adults with dementia. Senior care providers should also pack along a snack and some water to help elderly relatives along the way.

Guest Management

If a family reunion or gathering is in the future, family caregiver may recognize that the procession of unfamiliar faces may cause severe anxiety and restlessness in those with dementia. It’s common for seniors to forget familiar names and faces of those that might be in attendance. Even so, being together with loved ones has a positive effect for all parties involved.

If guests haven’t been around the elderly person for a while, it’s a good idea to explain to them the limits of the disease and how it has affected the elderly person’s ability to recall people, places and things. Again, if the senior becomes agitated or overwhelmed, the family caregiver can be there to redirect the aging adult or find somewhere they can reduce stimulus for a while.

Keeping Seniors with Dementia Safe

Elderly adults with dementia tend to wander, as they convince themselves they have somewhere to go or a long-lost place they must get back to. It’s extremely important that the aging adult not be left alone. Family caregivers can rely on friends, other family members and senior care providers to be with the senior so they won’t get lost, leave the event or feel anxious with unfamiliar faces.

Other safety issues include avoiding open flames like candles, watching for obstacles that might cause a slip and fall accident and keeping them away from moving traffic. If seniors with dementia feel panicked or startled, they might grow very upset and might accidentally injure themselves or others as they struggle to feel safe again. It’s important that family caregivers plan for such a thing to happen, and work out what they will do to restore peace and calm to their aging relative.

With lots of preparation and the support of friends, family members and senior care providers, family caregivers can create the happiest of holidays for their aging relatives with dementia.

If you or an aging loved-one are considering hiring Home Care Services in San Mateo CA, call the caring staff at Aviva In-Home Care. Call today: (415) 795-2203

Evan Loevner, CEO

As a former hospital administrator, I launched Aviva with the goal of having a more focused, direct impact on the delivery of care than I could ever accomplish within a hospital setting. For me, the joy of running an organization like Aviva In-Home Care is having the ability to positively improve the lives of individuals needing customized care. As a passionate San Francisco resident, I know that many local seniors can benefit from new approaches to in-home care, that will bring them more connection to the community, and provide families with a greater sense of comfort that their loved one is indeed matched with an ideal caregiver. This starts by including the family throughout the care planning process, a key component of the concept of “family-centered care,” which has been adopted by top medical centers. A strong communication loop between family, the caregiver, Aviva management, and community healthcare practitioners is essential for ensuring that all the needs of the client are met. While this may not sound like a novel concept, it is not commonly practiced within the home care community.

At Aviva, we also use the latest in health technology to maximize opportunities for communication between all members of our client’s care circles. We utilize nursing oversight to ensure that we are in compliance with physician orders, and that our careplans are being properly administered. Lastly, Aviva is a proud member of The Senior’s Choice, a national network of leading home care agencies that share best practices and focus on continual improvement.

As owner of the business, I also promise to you my direct involvement in your loved ones care, and will always make myself available for feedback and improvements in our service. I look forward to working with you and your loved one on creating a care plan that is perfectly suited to the family's needs. Thank you for considering Aviva as your care partner.