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Holiday tips
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For most families, the holidays are filled with opportunities for togetherness, sharing laughter and memories. For people caring for the 72,000 Coloradoans with Alzheimer’s disease, the holidays can also be filled with stress, disappointment and sadness. Because of the changes caused by Alzheimer’s, families as well as the person with the disease may feel a special sense of loss during the holidays. Caregivers may also feel overwhelmed by trying to maintain holiday traditions while providing care. In addition, there may be some hesitation about inviting family and friends over to share the holiday for fear they will be uncomfortable with the changes they see in the person with the disease.

A Caregiver's Guide for the Holidays


Click here to view and print our complete holiday guide, or call 800.272.3900 to order a copy.

 

Holiday tips

Simplify Holiday Celebrations

  • Plan smaller gatherings of family and friends
  • Make nametags for everyone to help your loved one identify guests without being embarrassed
  • Find a quiet place in your home for a loved one if things get too noisy or if you notice an increase in agitation or distress
  • Find ways your loved one can help like stuffing gift bags instead of wrapping, washing or drying dishes, setting the table, adding ingredients to a favorite recipe or mixing with a large spoon
  • Order desserts from a local bakery instead of cooking or check out a deli for precooked items  

Holiday Decorations

  • Remove all poisonous holiday decorations such as live poinsettias and mistletoe
  • Use flame-retardant artificial trees; if using cut trees, keep water reservoir full and limit indoor use to less than seven days
  • Use battery operated candles
  • Maintain the normal paths and walkways as much as possible to avoid fall risks

Gift Ideas for the Caregiver

  • Books or magazine subscription
  • Gift certificate from a favorite store or day spa for a massage
  • Something the household budget might not allow (massage, spa treatment, etc.)
  • A supply of frozen and dated homemade meals
  • Regular visits to the loved one in a long-term care facility
  • Safety/assistive devices (e.g. exit alarms, hand-held shower, safety knobs)
  • Your time (e.g., stay at the home so the spouse or child can attend a support group meeting, a movie, a day spa or to enjoy a favorite pastime)
  • A coupon for coffee or a movie with a friend

Gift Ideas for the Person with Alzheimer’s

  • Sneakers with Velcro or easy care clothing
  • Tickets to a ball game, circus or concert (early stage)
  • Music
  • Books with large pictures and few words
  • Photo albums with pictures of children at different stages
  • Modeling clay, watercolors
  • Making Memories Game/Big Brain Puzzle Book (alz.org)
  • Weekly pill box, white erasable message board, large format calendars, key finder keychain
  • Pet visits (late stage)
  • Your listening and hugs
  • A Medic Alert® + Alzheimer’s Association Safe Return®  bracelet/Comfort Zone®  system
  • Pass to a Colorado State or National Park
  • Seasonal pass to the zoo or membership at a local museum

 

Alzheimer's Association

Our vision is a world without Alzheimer's
Formed in 1980, the Alzheimer's Association is the world's leading voluntary health organization in Alzheimer's care, support and research.