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With widely celebrated holidays like Thanksgiving and Christmas fast approaching, there’s no time like the present to start thinking about how to help your loved ones with Alzheimer’s and dementia have the best possible celebrations.  Holidays may look a little different, but can still be a happy and joyous time.  Here are some of our best tips for dementia-friendly holidays


  1. Avoid Too Much Excitement or Overstimulation 

Settings that are very noisy or crowded can sometimes be too much for those with Alzheimer’s and dementia. If you will be celebrating with loved ones with Alzheimer’s and dementia, try small group settings and keeping the environment quiet and calm for them. 


You may want to avoid situations like crowded holiday markets or boisterous parades and parties. Instead, focus on quality time and ways to have fun without so much noise or so many people around! 


  1. Provide A Sense Of Community 

No one wants to spend the holidays alone, but large family gatherings may be too overwhelming for those with memory impairment.  It’s important to find ways to celebrate with your loved ones so they feel included, without overwhelming them. 


One of the great benefits of memory care is the built-in community it offers.  The care partners in Dolan Memory Care Homes celebrate all kinds of holidays with our residents, giving them a chance to socialize and celebrate in a situation that’s still calm and comfortable. Our world-class dementia care offers so much more than just meeting residents’ basic needs: We offer a setting in which our residents can thrive, during the holiday season and all year long! 


  1. Continue Family Traditions 

Just because your loved one may not remember every single family tradition doesn’t mean you should abandon them.  In fact, celebrating in a way that is familiar to them and as similar to what they’re used to as possible can actually be very beneficial.  So feel free to continue as many family traditions as you possibly can!  Everyone will appreciate the fun, and you’ll have precious memories with your loved ones to cherish forever. 


  1. Know Things Won’t Always Go To Plan 

Finally, it’s important to keep this in perspective, especially around the holidays. Your loved one may be having a bad day or may not be interested in the activities you had planned.  Understand that Alzheimer’s symptoms can flare up at any time, and be willing and ready to change plans as needed.  If you stay flexible and accept that plans won’t always work out, it will be a less frustrating experience for everyone. 


Holidays are a time to celebrate with the ones you love and spread joy and cheer!  That doesn’t change just because your loved ones have Alzheimer’s or dementia.  Everyone deserves a fun-filled holiday season, and we hope these tips help with that!