With added emphasis on spending time with loved ones during the holidays, the presence of Alzheimer’s becomes even more unwelcome. This year, the families of the 5.4 million living with Alzheimer’s or a related dementia will do their best to keep the holidays merry and bright, whether they will visit a family member or friend in assisted living, in a nursing home, in hospice care, or at home.
Most experts agree that you should never ask someone with Alzheimer’s questions like “do you know who I am?” or “do you know what day it is?” because it often provokes anxiety and agitation. Especially during the holidays, it is important for visiting friends and relatives to remember this: Alzheimer’s is a disease that impacts the brain and its ability to function. If your grandfather remembers your sister’s name but not yours, do not take it personally. Maybe your wife can recall the answer, but if the ability to communicate is lost, the answer will be too. Either way, the answers are irrelevant and the strain on the individual faced with the question is completely unnecessary.
The best thing to do? While you cannot ignore the changes that Alzheimer’s has wrought on your family circle this season, try your best to celebrate the way you always have, to keep the traditions and routines you did before.
Read more about Alzheimer’s care here at the blog.