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Alzheimer’s Patients and Planning for the Holidays

Holidays can be stressful for both the person with Alzheimer’s and the rest of the family. Consider these tips to help make the holidays more enjoyable for everyone.

1. If you’re caring for a loved one who has Alzheimer’s at home:

Tone down your decorations: Blinking lights and large decorative displays can cause disorientation.

Host quiet, slow-paced gatherings: Music, conversation and meal preparation all add to the noise and stimulation of an event. Yet for a person who has Alzheimer’s, a calm, quiet environment usually is best.

2. If your loved one lives in a nursing home or other facility:

Celebrate in the most familiar setting: For many people who have Alzheimer’s, a change of environment — even a visit home — causes anxiety. Consider holding a family celebration at the facility.

Minimize visitor traffic: Arrange for a few people to drop in on different days to avoid the commotion of having several visitors all at once.

Schedule visits at your loved one’s best time of day: Your loved one may appreciate morning and lunchtime visitors more than those in the afternoon or evening.

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