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Tips for Caregivers during the Holiday Season
By Arden Courts of Jefferson Hills

During this very special time of year, family and friends will gather together to celebrate holiday traditions. The holiday seasons can be a very challenging time of year for an individual living with memory loss. Here are some suggestions to help you and your loved one to have a safe and happy season together.

In the midst of putting up decorations, rearranging furniture and putting up decorations, the person with memory loss will do better in an environment that is as consistent as possible. Try not to move the furniture more than absolutely necessary. Avoid using blinking lights or decorations that look edible. Use your loved one's best-loved decorations to spark memories and increase their ability to enjoy the festivities.

Think about inviting a few guests at one time, and avoid large crowds of people. Name tags are very helpful and will keep your loved one from feeling frustrated and embarrassed when they can't remember people they should know.  If you notice signs of increased confusion or agitation, encourage your loved one go to a quiet part of the house, or maybe take a small rest from the festivities.

Holiday stories from years past will help keep your loved one involved in the celebration. Play familiar holiday songs and fix traditional foods that they will enjoy. Photos of past holidays will help them reminisce with the visitors.  It's much easier for people with memory loss to remember things that happened long ago than something that happened yesterday, so reminisce! Look at catalogs together and help your loved one to order gifts for people they care about. This could be just what they need to reconnect and appreciate the holidays, creating more memories that you will hold dear for years to come.

From all of us to all of you… Arden Courts wishes each of you a happy and healthy holiday season.

For more information about how to make the holidays more memorable and less worrisome, please contact Terrie Eger at Arden Courts of Jefferson Hills at 412–384–0300.

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