Changing Aging Blog

Holidays With Memory Loss: Tips for Sharing Holiday Pleasures
Date: Dec 24th, 2015 8:00am

Author:

Greta Erickson

The holidays are a time of joy, but can also bring stress to caregivers. Caring.com provides four tips for enjoying holiday moments with your loved one with dementia. 

  • Share a favorite holiday dish or dessert together, at a separate time and place from the main meal. Take a quiet moment simply to enjoy and reminisce about the memories the tastes conjure up.
  • Listen to or sing a favorite holiday song together. Music can still elicit responses from those in the late stages of dementia, even when the person is no longer talking.
  • Look at old photographs of past holiday events. Pick photos that show significant objects or places, like a Christmas tree or a church your loved one used to visit, rather than photos of people only. This way, the person won't feel pressured if she doesn't remember who's in the photos.
  • The smells of the holidays are some of the best of the year. Favorites might include peppermint, pine, cinnamon, and ginger. Share a short activity that incorporates one of these scents, such as rolling balls of gingerbread cookie dough to bake (and eat!)

Happy Holidays from Ecumen! We hope this season is filled with loved ones and memories.

Photo: Caring.com

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