As we move into the holiday season, families and friends come together for holiday events and gatherings to savor these wonderful moments. For seniors, aging can bring many changes to their personalities and behaviors, making their experience of the holidays far from enjoyable. These changes are often due to dementia, “an umbrella term used to describe over 100 different conditions that impair memory, behavior, and thinking.” Don’t worry, those who experience impaired memory can still enjoy the love and beauty of the holiday season, as long as they are treated with patience, compassion, and respect. Here are a couple of signs you shouldn’t ignore when visiting your loved one during this holiday season.
Drastic personality changes
In aging adults, drastic personality changes or severe mood swings should be taken seriously. Although changes in personality and mood can occur at any age, this could be an indicator of dementia in older adults. The parent-child are usually the ones who can spot these changes because they most-likely know how their parents act in certain situations. One way to combat this is to plan your celebration accordingly. Many Alzheimer’s and dementia patients, symptoms tend to worsen in the evening hours. Therefore, planning your celebration earlier in the day can help your loved one feel more comfortable.
Continuously losing things
Have you noticed that your loved one is having trouble handling their finances, medications, or household items? If so, your loved one may be in need of assistance. A study published in The Journal of the American Geriatrics Society found that “financial capacity decreases with advancing age, especially for women.” We all know that the holidays can be very overwhelming and cause us to misplace items from time to time. However, if your loved one is having a difficult time retracing their steps, they may be showing early signs of Alzheimer’s Disease or Dementia. Some additional warning signs that you should keep an eye out for are: piled up mail, bounced checks, and forgetfulness.
Preparing for dementia
Preparing for the season is already stressful; adding in the strain of making sure that your senior relative feels comfortable can make things difficult. By using these tips, your holidays can still be festive and fun, helping to avoid any discomfort or stress.
- Communicate with your guests before the event
- Choose a familiar environment for your gathering
- Opt for familiar and favorite foods
- Keep the gathering modest
- Making the season stress-free for everyone
At Spring Hills Senior Communities, we understand that this the most wonderful time of the year and welcome our residents into our loving, nurturing environment. Our goal is to soothe the symptoms of Alzheimer’s and Dementia that many seniors experience during this time of the year. The holidays are supposed to be enjoyed by everyone and we encourage family members to come out and celebrate with their loved ones. Here at Spring Hills, we believe in holistic care that intrigues the mind, moves the body and inspires the spirit. The result is a positive community of residents and caretakers focused on quality living. To find out more about our approach to offering services that are designed to meet the needs and preferences of residents and clients, click here.