Making Thanksgiving Dementia-Friendly

Published: Nov. 21, 2022 at 6:07 AM PST
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RENO, Nev. (KOLO) - The Alzheimer’s Foundation of America has some tips that can help during the holiday season. Families who are impacted by Dementia-related illness can have a stress-free Thanksgiving by making a plan that fits their schedule.

Prepare your loved one before the celebration by showing pictures, telling stories, or having a phone call with guests who will be coming. Let your guests know the best ways to communicate with your family member. Consider if your member goes on a walk in the afternoon or when they take a nap.

Chris Schneider with the Alzheimer’s Foundation of America says to hold the celebration early to avoid Sundown Syndrome.

“As day turns to night it can cause confusion. They may be more prone to agitation, and they may be more prone to aggression. You may want to hold that celebration earlier so that it is not as impactful to them. There are all ways to adapt traditions and create new ones, and that’s really what it’s all about. It’s about having a good time with your family and friends,” Schneider said.

AFA shared that controlling the flow of visitors can help, and even comfort items like a blanket, sweater, or stuffed animal can allow them to feel safe.

Additional resources are available through the foundation’s helpline at 866-232-8484.

For more on having a Dementia-friendly Thanksgiving, click here.