Christmas social gatherings are a good time to pay special attention to the well-being of the person with Alzheimer’s. Creating a comfortable environment, integrating the patient into the family nucleus and fostering the relationship with the children are some of the tips that the Pasqual Maragall Foundation offers to enjoy these holidays.
Image provided by the Pasqual Maragall Foundation.
Although Christmas is a time for family reunions and celebrations, this time of year can be especially difficult for people with Alzheimer’s, as well as their caregivers and family members.
“A repetitive and organized daily routine helps both people with Alzheimer’s and their caregivers. On these dates, this routine is interrupted and may come to present doubts about how the situation should be faced, which is why it is important to maintain activities that evoke daily life”, he explains Glòria Mas, neuropsychologist and therapist at the Pasqual Maragall Foundation.
Integrate the family environment
It is important that the whole family is aware of the condition of the person suffering from Alzheimer’s and thus take into account certain situations and get involved in the tasks that the carer usually does, allowing him to rest.
one direct interaction between the family and the patient helps to understand the needs of the person with dementia.
Even so, all these interactions should be done in moderation, not all family members at once, as an excess of stimuli may not be positive and lead to isolation.
Christmas get-togethers are good occasions for other family members to get involved in the care of the person with Alzheimer’s, sharing the tasks and obligations that the carer normally carries out. However, it is necessary to take into account all the criteria of the carer, as he or she knows the situation best.
The children they are also a positive incentive for these patients, so it is good to encourage this relationship, but always monitoring and regulating the interaction, since it is not necessary to oversaturate or tire the person with Alzheimer’s.
Keep the Christmas spirit
Continuing with family routines and customs that are repeated every Christmas is very convenient to continue maintaining the christmas spirit.
Decorating the house, commemorating traditions, singing carols… are positive actions to enhance the complicity and appreciation of the family core.
However, you must be careful about the amounts of food and drink that can be consumed during Christmas, as people with Alzheimer’s can present certain difficulties to inhibit yourself from continuing to take certain foods or snacks.
In addition, the perception of the satiety can be seen reduced.
Create an environment of comfort
Sometimes people with Alzheimer’s may have inappropriate behaviors, but if that happens, no one should feel responsible. It is best to try to distract them with other activities or stimuli to return them to a regular state.
For families who decide travel on these very specific dates, the expert recommends for the affected: “Think of some resources that evoke the daily routine, like some activity that keeps him calm and that he is used to doing”.
Taking into account all these recommendations will make it easier for us to create one welcoming environment and flattering so we can all relax and enjoy Christmas.