Alzheimer's Aid Society|
Supporting the caregiver. Remembering the cared for.
In this issue:
- Info for Caregivers: Making Holiday Memories
- Your Gift Gives Twice
- A BIG THANK YOU to the Joey Lopes Main Event
- What is "Happenings!"
Info for Caregivers: Making Holiday Memories
There are a lot of demands and expectations during the holidays. Only you know what's best for you and your loved one, so listen to your feelings. Be selective on what you do. Remember that while things will never be what they once were, it is still possible to find blessings and create moments of joy.
When family and friends come to visit:
Things you can do together for fun:
- If your loved one is in the early stages of the disease and can still communicate and participate, include them in the planning and the doing. Ask them what their best holiday celebration would look like. Respect their needs and wishes. Remember that your loved one will not be the same as last year, so don't try to do it the same way.
- If you are having visitors who don't see your loved one on a regular basis, prepare them ahead of time so they know what to expect. You might even consider sharing this list with them in advance of the gathering.
- Let go of the need for everything to be perfect. You are not Martha Stewart and no one expects you to be. If you need help, ask.
- Try to keep noise to a minimum. Speak clearly in a calm, soothing tone.
- Minimize distractions, and remember that if you are tense, your loved one will pick up on that feeling.
- Create a quiet, comfortable area where one or two people at a time can visit with your loved one. Realize that sometimes just sitting and holding their hand or rubbing their back makes for the perfect visit.
- Watch for signs of over-stimulation. Take break with soft music may help with relaxation.
- Remind your visitors the best visits involve you entering their world, rather then expecting them to come to yours. Don't argue or correct. This is a key to every positive interaction! Avoid questions like, "Do you remember?" Keep some old photographs handy as a conversation starter and for reminiscing. Talk about the photographs and follow their lead.
- Take a drive around the neighborhood to view the holiday lights.
- Have your loved one be in charge of the tape as your "wrapping assistant".
- Is music important to your loved one? There are many special musical performances being presented at this time. There are large and small venues - pick the one appropriate for what your loved one can handle.
- Watch your favorite holiday movie. This time of year you can find classic holiday films on TV. Older movies may be more familiar to someone with Alzheimer's.
- Find a place to watch children visit with Santa. Is your local community center having a Christmas party for the neighborhood? Individuals with Alzheimer's enjoy children!
- Make and decorate Christmas cookies. You can do this without stress by buying pre-made, undecorated cookies and tubes of icing. Invite one or two children to "help".
- If you are sending out holiday cards, let your loved one help. Sticking on the stamps or sealing envelopes are simple tasks.
Your Gift Gives Twice
Do you have your Christmas shopping done? If you don't, your gifts can give twice if you shop online at AmazonSmile. You give the gift to the recipient and AmazonSmile gives 0.5% of qualifying purchases to Alzheimer's Aid Society. Shop at smile.amazon.com/ch/94-2721961 to give your gift twice!
A BIG THANK YOU to the Joey Lopes Main Event
We had a great time last month at the annual Joey Lopes Memorial Main Event. Thank you so much to Silvestre Gilmete Jr. and the Lopes family and friends for their wonderful support. It was a huge success. Our very own Christina Ness was very excited to meet Tony "The Tiger" Lopez. We hope to see you next year!
What is "Happenings!"
"Happenings!" is the our monthly e-mail newsletter for the Alzheimer's Aid Society. We send it at the beginning of the month so you can stay up-to-date on events and news in northern California. We will also include tips for caregivers and highlight new scientific research. Recent issues are available on our website. You can print the e-newsletter online to include details on links. Do you have a comment or feedback? Please reply to this message - we would love to hear from you.