For many families, Thanksgiving is a time to gather with friends and family members who you haven't seen and a long time, and sharing special quality time together. In many circumstances, this is the only time of year when some family members get to spend time together. This is a wonderful opportunity to share your love, bond together, and make new memories you can cherish. If you are a family caregiver for an elderly adult who is living with dementia, however, it can also be an intimidating time. You may worry about how family members may react to your parent and the tremendous changes they have gone through in the last year. You may also worried about how your parent is going to react to the new people and activities of the holidays. Taking the time to talk to your family about how your parent has changed due to their dementia before the holiday itself can make a tremendous difference to everyone involved. These conversations can prepare your family to interact with your senior, and for any changes you might have made to the holiday celebrations, so everyone can continue to celebrate the holiday in the true spirit.
Use these tips to help you talk to your family about your parents changes before Thanksgiving:
- Be honest and open, but don't complain. Simply provide information about how your parent has changed due to their illness, and give insight into the differences your family members might notice in your parent when they come for the celebration.
- Be dignified and respectful at all times. Don't share more information with your family members than is necessary, and keep potentially embarrassing or sensitive details to an absolute minimum. Not only is this respectful to your aging parent, but it can help the family members feel more comfortable and at ease.
- Be supportive in your family members still interacting with your parents, and spending quality time with them. Emphasize that even though your parents has undergone these changes and may not have the same memories, they are still the same person and benefits from conversation, interaction, sharing memories, and having fun.
- Be willing to accept help if it is offered to you. You may have a family member who has experience caring for an elderly adult who is living with dementia, and they may be willing to help you cope with this first holiday season at caring for a senior with these challenges. Be open to this offer, and thankful for the support and assistance.
- Be a flexible about holiday celebrations. You may need to change some of the scheduling of activities, or ask family members to stay in a hotel rather than in your home if your parent lives with you, or will be staying with you during the holidays. Explain these changes when talking to your family members, honestly explaining to them how the holiday has to change and why, and expressing your hope that you will all still have a wonderful time together.
- Be as optimistic and welcoming as possible. Many of your family members will take their cue from you, and if you seem a positive and prepared to have a wonderful holiday together, they will feel more at ease and be more open to the experience as well.
If you are a family caregiver for an elderly adult is living with dementia, the support of a home care provider can be instrumental during the holiday season. The highly customized services and in-home senior care services provider can offer to your aging parent are tremendously beneficial at any time of year, but during the holidays they can be even more meaningful. These services can help your parent to feel calmer and more in control, which can relieve anxiety and diminish negative behaviors. This care provider can also help to enjoy your senior gets all of the dedicated, dignified care they need during holiday celebrations so you are able to continue focusing on your partner, your children, and enjoying the holiday while still knowing your senior has everything they need. If you are unable to bring your parent along to holiday celebrations, respite home care can be there to ensure your parent gets proper care while you are away.
If you or an aging loved one are considering home health care in Arvada, CO, please contact the caring staff at SYNERGY HomeCare West Denver. Call today: (720) 263-6060.