Holidays can be filled with a wide range of emotions ranging from pure joy to utter sadness when you are visiting someone with a cognitive illness such as Alzheimer’s disease.
Regardless of the emotion, however, accept it and try not to judge your feelings or the feelings of others during this time. Holidays may feel and look different because traditions are not able to be followed exactly as before, but that does not mean you cannot have a meaningful experience.
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The holidays, with all their hustle and bustle, can add additional stress and strain for caregivers, particularly people caring for someone with Alzheimer’s disease or a similar memory-related illness.
I hope the following tips and ideas will help keep your holidays merry and bright.
Simplify the season
Make this the season to simplify. Instead of the usual six-course family dinner, maybe you can do a potluck or a simple brunch. One caregiver—who always had her holidays cards in the mail on Thanksgiving Day—decided instead to send an email to her family and friends wishing them a happy holiday.
She explained she would not be sending out cards because her focus this holiday was on caring for her parents—and herself. Good for her!