Jim Mann: A few tips for surviving the holidays

For families caring for a loved one with dementia, there are things to bear in mind for this time of year

  • Dec. 4, 2011 1:00 p.m.

For most families, regardless of faith or culture, holidays are a time of joy, celebration and enjoying one another’s company. However, if you’re caring for someone with dementia, the holiday season can be difficult. Typical stressors at this time of year include:

Dealing with the memories of past holidays, and the unexpected feelings and emotions these memories cause.

Feeling overwhelmed with maintaining traditions while keeping up with caregiving responsibilities.

Visitors who don’t feel comfortable relating to a person with dementia.

Trying to live up to others’ expectations.

The person you’re caring for may also have difficulty coping with the holidays. Perhaps he or she feels a particular sense of loss at this time of year or finds the disruption in routine caused by holiday activities distressing.

What can you do to survive the holidays?

Adjust expectations. Talk to family members and friends to ensure they understand your situation and that their expectations are realistic. Perhaps you can work together to adapt your traditional activities to suit the needs of the person with dementia.

Minimize holiday stress. Pick and choose the holiday activities and traditions that mean the most to you and to your family member – don’t try to do it all.

Involve the person with dementia

Wrap presents

Hang decorations

Pack cookies in tins for gifts

Listen to music, sing holiday songs

Drive around in the evening to look at the holiday lights.

Jim Mann is a board member of the Alzheimer Society of B.C. and Alzheimer Society of Canada. He was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease in 2007 and is an active advocate and spokesperson for the cause.

 

Just Posted

Proposal for 30 affordable housing units in Vernon moves ahead

Vernon city council approved an early stage in the CMHA’s proposal at ther last meeting on Oct. 15

Natalie MacMaster makes Vernon one of two B.C. stops

Queen of the Fiddle in town Oct. 24

Leashes, doggy bags mandatory after North Okanagan bylaw update

RDNO steps up dog bylaws to prevent people from stepping in it

Local grocer to close doors in Vernon

Quality Greens is shutting up shop after 22 years

Vernon patients benefit from new staff and equipment

New physiatrist and much-needed equipment at VJH

Memorial remembers Vernon’s most marginalized

Prayers and flowers for those who have died on the streets

Zantac, the over-the-counter heartburn drug, pulled in Canada, U.S.

Health Canada also investigates possible carcinogen in some ranitidine drugs

Shooters compete in Summerland

Seven youth participants take aim

B.C. public safety minister says cannabis edibles not in stores til January

Mike Farnworth says he wants regional issues considered when it comes to licensing

Greta Thunberg calls for climate action in Alberta, but doesn’t talk oilsands

Swedish teen was met with some oil and gas industry supporters who came in a truck convoy

RDOS cannabis production bylaw goes to public hearing

Hearing on micro cannabis production facilities will be held Nov. 21

Scheer denies spreading ‘misinformation’ in predicting unannounced Liberal taxes

Conservative leader had claimed that a potential NDP-Liberal coalition could lead to a hike in GST

Council asks to limit cruise ship visits to Victoria harbour

Mayor says motion is not meant to curtail current visits or limit local cruise industry expansion

Chilliwack man pleads guilty in crash that killed pregnant woman

Frank Tessman charged under Motor Vehicle Act for accident that killed Kelowna school teacher

Most Read