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Alzheimer families and the holidays
Posted: Thursday, January 5, 2012 5:04 PM
Originally posted by: Advocation/Mary

Hi Everyone

Happy Holidays. I have read these passages and will pass these ideas on to my daughters.

Like Lisa said, "allow people to help you"! Excellent advice, thanks.

I personally found that having Alzheimer's and trying to maintain "family tradition" was a bit challenging. I did ask my daughters to prepare a dish each. This was a tremendous help. They also set up the table for dining. My girlfriend directed the cleanup and my grandson helped!

Our holiday cheer went well, but, I had to retire early. The intensity of these headaches I get were unbareable. Possibly too much cheer?

Now we can look forward to "Christmas". Ho Ho Ho

Posted: Thursday, January 5, 2012 5:04 PM
Originally posted by: KML

I have enjoyed reading your suggestions. Hope A, I hope when I become the grandma, I will be just like you. So much thought and fun you put into the holidays.

For the past nine years since my mom's death, my sister and I and my dad have gotten together at his house to make our family's over 100 year old Spanish cookie recipe. My dad's participation in this cookie making has changed in recent years. But he can still sprinkle the sugar on for the glazing and he enjoys tasting them, reminds him of his mother and he gets a thrill out of being able to mail a package of cookies off to his younger brother. Even if he can't sprinkle the sugar on, as long as he's there, he can watch and still enjoy. These cookies are magic, we are all filled with memories that flood in of our grandmothers and the love they gave us.
Internal Administrator
Posted: Thursday, January 5, 2012 5:04 PM
Joined: 1/14/2015
Posts: 40463

Originally posted by: quarterlady

I am sure you saw this but just in case---
Alzheimer families and the holidays: Tips to enjoy the season
The holidays are a time when family and friends come together and share memories, laughs and good cheer. But for families living with Alzheimer’s, the holidays can also be a difficult time.
Caregiving responsibilities layered on top of keeping up with holiday traditions can take its toll on Alzheimer families, especially the caregiver. The person with Alzheimer’s may also feel a sense of loss during the holidays.
With some planning and adjusted expectations, your celebrations can be filled with joy and magical moments to cherish forever.
Adjust your expectations
No one, including yourself, should expect you to maintain every holiday tradition or event.
• Give yourself permission to do only what you can reasonably manage
• Choose holiday activities and traditions that are most important to you
• Host a small family dinner instead of a throwing a big holiday party
• Consider serving a catered or takeout holiday meal. Many grocery stores and restaurants offer meals to go.
• Start a new tradition. Have a potluck dinner where family or friends each bring a dish
Involve the person in the festivities
There are many manageable activities the person and you can do together, such as:
• Wrap gifts
• Bake favorite holiday recipes together. The person can stir batter or decorate cookies.
• Set the table. Avoid centerpieces with candles and artificial fruits and berries that could be mistaken for edible snacks.
• Talk about events to include in a holiday letter
• Prepare simple foods such as appetizers
• Read cards you receive together
• Look through photo albums or scrapbooks. Reminisce about people in the pictures and past events.
• Watch a favorite holiday movie
• Sing favorite carols or read biblical passages
When the person lives in a care facility
A holiday is still a holiday whether it is celebrated at home or at a care facility. Here are some ways to celebrate together:
• Consider joining your loved one in any facility-planned holiday activities
• Bring a favorite holiday food to share
• Sing holiday songs. Ask if other residents can join in.
• Read a favorite holiday story or poem out loud

Caregiver Stress Check
Take our quiz and get a personal list of resources to help manage stress.
Posted: Thursday, January 5, 2012 5:04 PM
Originally posted by: Lisa 428

Thanks Marion and Hope for some great tips and ideas. We all need help especially during the holidays.

Please, ask for help then allow people to help you!

Happy Holidays!
Posted: Thursday, January 5, 2012 5:04 PM
Originally posted by: SherrieS

Thank you so much for all of your wonderful ideas!! I never thought to include my mom in the baking of holiday treats because I thought she couldn't do it, but I am going to include her this year! She can certainly stir batters and of course help taste!

I am so happy that I joined this web site! Smiler
Posted: Thursday, January 5, 2012 5:04 PM
Originally posted by: Hope A

Thank you so much for such great ideas.
On Christmas day I have always had special games for all my 6 children and their families, I just hope this holiday I will be able to keep these memorable traditions. My husband that was diagnose with alzheimers almost two years ago has always enjoyed these holidays. So with Gods willing he will still enjoy them this year and hopefully many more.
I would always go out of my way to have a great dinner for them but My children already have told me from now on it will be a potluck. They understand that I am super busy with their dad and they want me to take it easy from now on.
On Christmas Day all my children and grandchildren get together at our home. I have games for them to play. An example... I have a "guessing game". This game they have to guess how many candies are in jar without going over. I have prepare a beautiful christmas basket which have all kinds of nice things. Including a christmas stuff animal. This basket is wrapped really pretty with a huge bow. So this would be the prize for the winner of the "Guessing Game". Plus many other games with prizes that I have made. All my children and grandchildren look forward to coming to grandma's and grandpa's for christmas.
My husband is also involved in most all games.
I also do this for Easter, plus we have an Easter Egg Hunt. We also have our Easter Bunny.
I enjoy making all these prizes for them. As long as I am able to do this I will continue. This year I started early getting everything organized, so when the day comes I just put everything together. I have my husband help me on things that he can help me with. Most of the time he forgets that he is helping me, instead he just watches. I do this on short periods of time each day. That is why I start a few Months earlier. My children know that this tradition is important to me so they have volunteered to watch dad while I complete my work. So far I have not needed their help, I just have started my projects earlier, but like I told them I know I will eventually need their help and thank them from the bottom of my heart.
You also have gaved me some great ideas.
Thank You!
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