The holidays are filled with family reunions, hugs, laughter, good food, and making lasting memories. However, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many of us will have to adjust our usual celebrations to minimize the risk of spreading the virus. Older adults with underlying health conditions, such as dementia and Alzheimer’s, have been among those most affected by the virus, and may feel an acute sense of loss due to the changes they’ve experienced.
If you are looking for assistance in caring for a family member with Alzheimer’s, reach out to the experts at Coastal Home Care, who provide professional Alzheimer’s Support to folks throughout Wicomico County, MD. Our experienced caregivers employ strategies and best practices to ensure your loved one continues to live safely and productively. Our services include assistance with daily tasks, comfort and safety management, and more.
Below, we discuss a few ways you can celebrate the holidays safely with your loved ones living with Alzheimer’s:
In their efforts to make the holidays special for their loved ones, caregivers can feel overwhelmed as they juggle maintaining traditions with providing care and adhering to safety precautions. It’s important to remember that your health as a caregiver matters as well.
In order to reduce stress and manage expectations, arrange a virtual group meeting with family members to discuss holiday celebrations and what precautions you’re taking as a caregiver to keep your loved one healthy. This is also an opportunity to update them about what changes they may see in the person suffering from Alzheimer’s.
Finally, remember to only take on what you can comfortably and safely manage. This may look like smaller, more casual gatherings or activities.
Celebrate with Social Distancing
There are numerous ways to make the holidays special while social distancing. For example, you can leave a care package with some favorite baked goods and a card at your loved one’s front door.
Drive by celebrations have also grown in popularity during the pandemic. Plan a festive “Holiday Parade” and ask friends and family members to decorate their cars with festive decorations and homemade signs.
If you want to visit with your loved one in person, consider an outdoor activity like taking a walk around the neighborhood to look at the lights, or sit outside with blankets and hot cocoa. Remember to wear your mask and maintain six feet of distance between yourself and anyone outside your household.
You can also use technology to connect during the holidays. Face-to-face interactions can reduce feelings of isolation or loneliness, so consider setting up video calls with software like Zoom or Skype. These can be a simple time to chat, or take on a more structured form such as playing a trivia game, watching a movie together, or singing carols.
Another option is to video record special moments, like children opening gifts, to send your loved one to include them in the memories.
Keep them Involved
To make them feel included, think of different ways you can involve your loved one in safe, manageable tasks such as preparing food, wrapping gifts, setting the table, or putting up decorations.
At the same time, it’s important to maintain a sense of normalcy throughout the holidays for the person living with Alzheimer’s. Have them continue with their daily routine as much as possible to avoid causing any disruption or confusion.
Coastal Home Care: Alzheimer’s Care in Wicomico County, MD
As different as things may seem this year, it’s still possible to make cherished memories with your elderly loved one. We realize that caring for a family member with Alzheimer’s presents unique challenges that can feel overwhelming when faced alone. At Coastal Home Care, we come alongside you and your family to provide comprehensive Alzheimer’s Support with an emphasis on professionalism, respect, and empathy. As the leading provider of elderly support services in Wicomico County, MD, we also provide senior companion care, hospice support, and post-operative care. Contact us today to schedule a consultation.