Family-centric holidays like Easter are a blessing and challenge for those caring for a loved one with Alzheimer’s disease. These families get to spend precious time together, but the change in routine can cause added stress. Including a few simple routines and activities for dementia patients into the day can help make holiday activities for someone with dementia more fun for everyone.
Family caregivers know that keeping to an established routine is helpful when caring for a loved one with Alzheimer’s disease. Try to keep to that routine as the family plans for the holiday. For example, eat a meal earlier if that is what a loved one is accustomed to doing.
Prepare for the holiday by providing an update in advance on your loved one’s condition. If your loved one doesn’t recognize someone, they should simply reintroduce themselves. Don’t try to force memories. It only creates agitation. Likewise, if a loved one with dementia says something that is known to be untrue, it is not worth trying to debate.
Encourage family members to use techniques like redirection to change the subject in a gentle way. For example, if the loved one with dementia is asking to go home, agree pleasantly that you’ll be leaving shortly and then point out a colorful bird or ask them about a painting in the house.
Families should include a loved one with dementia in the holiday planning. Good activities for someone with dementia include setting the table, helping with easy recipes in the kitchen, and creating holiday décor like this adorable Succulent Easter Egg craft.
Succulent Easter Egg Decoration
What you’ll need:
- Large plastic Easter eggs
- Assortment of succulents
- Potting soil
- Ceramic tiles
- Gold or silver Sharpie
- Clear school glue
- Use the Sharpie to color the rim of one half of a plastic Easter egg.
- Glue the Easter egg to the ceramic tile base. Allow the glue to dry.
- Fill the egg with potting soil.
- Add 1-2 succulents per egg.
- While doing activities with a loved one with dementia, play their favorite songs softly in the background.
- Get the patient involved by starting the activity oneself and then asking them to join in.
- Activities for people with dementia have the best chance of success in the morning between breakfast and lunch when this loved one is well rested. If they don’t want to participate or get frustrated, don’t force it. Try again another time.
- If a person has dementia, a hospice program and hospice care team can provide support for both the patient and family. This added assistance can be key in avoiding caregiver burnout.
Find more ideas for activities for dementia patients here.
If you have questions about how Crossroads Hospice & Palliative Care unique care programs supports patients with dementia and their families, please call us at 1-888-564-3405.
If you found this information helpful, please share it with your network and community.
Copyright © 2017 Crossroads Hospice & Palliative Care. All rights reserved.