Caregivers should approach a person experiencing dementia with respect and focus on their feelings, according to the Alzheimer’s Association’s holiday workshops that aim to help families deal with what can be an especially stressful time period.
Susan Evans, the Alzheimer’s Association’s Michigan chapter program coordinator, noted that holidays can be a difficult time for those experiencing memory loss, and their inability to verbally convey these changes may result in different behaviors.
“If you’re trying an activity or trying to do anything and it’s causing that person to react with a behavior that is harmful in some way, then you want to stop and try to regroup and figure out, can we try something else?” Evans said.
Aside from finding activities that the person experiencing memory loss will enjoy, it can also be important to go along with that person’s present self, rather than focusing on the facts.
Hydration, food, and other physical necessities are also things family members should pay attention to during gatherings with someone experiencing memory loss.
For more information, visit the Alzheimer’s Association website.