Caring for someone with Alzheimer's disease can be difficult no matter what time of year it is. The holidays can bring on a whole new set of challenges on their own. Don't underestimate the benefits of planning and prioritizing. It can be a lot of work upfront; but the benefits can make a world of difference. Here are ten things you should consider if you are caring for someone with Alzheimer's disease this holiday season.
1. Diet Restrictions
When you preparing the menu for holiday meals, it is important to think about any diet restrictions your senior loved one may have. Those with Alzheimer's may follow a certain diet to make their symptoms more manageable.
Aside from Alzheimer's, there may be other reason the senior you are caring for adheres to diet restrictions. A few common limitations among seniors include the following.
Sugar. Nearly 20 percent of seniors have diabetes, making it critical for them to limit their sugar intake. Make sure there is at least one sugar-free options available for your seniors loved one to enjoy.
Cholesterol. Many seniors need to limit their cholesterol. Make sure to include cholesterol foods with little to no cholesterol. A few great options include..
If you are hosting a meal, make sure there are plenty of foods your senior loved one will be able to enjoy. If you are attending a meal someone else is hosting, make sure to let them know well ahead of time about any diet restrictions your senior loved one has.
2. Crowded Places
Those suffering from Alzheimer's or another form of dementia may have a difficult time being in crowded places.This is especially true if they are in the later stages of the disease. They can make the senior with the cognitive illness anxious or agitated. Crowds can also cause them to become confused and disoriented. If your seniors loved one has trouble with one of these, it is important to be understanding of their personal needs. Here are a few things to be mindful of if your senior loved one has a difficult time with crowds.
Gatherings. If you are having a gathering, try to keep it small. If you are attending a gathering with your loved one, ask about the number of people that will be there. If there will be a lot of people, ask if there is a less concentrated area for your loved one to be.
Shopping. The same concept applied when shopping. Crowded shopping malls and stores can your senior to become confused and disoriented, as a result they can get lost if they wander. If you want to take your loved one shopping, try to go during less popular times. This also may be a good time to introduce them to the world of online shopping if they haven't been already.