Elder Care in Boynton Beach FL
Thanksgiving is the official start of the holiday season for many families, and that means busy days of getting ready for spending time with family and friends, enjoying traditional meals, and creating memories. This is a precious time for reconnecting with the people who mean the most to you and focusing on everything in your life for which you feel the most thankful and grateful.
If you are a family caregiver for an elderly adult who is suffering from Alzheimer’s disease, this season will be different for you than it has ever been before. As you move into the Thanksgiving holiday you are not just thinking about the nostalgia and memories of Thanksgivings past and the memories that you will make and carry with you into the future. Instead you are also thinking of your parent and how they are going to perceive this holiday differently, and what that means for their memories, your memories, and your care efforts.
One of the most important things that you can do during this season to help your parent maintain a sense of relevance and control, find meaning in the celebration, and avoid negative feelings and behaviors is to involve them in preparations for the holiday. This will help them to feel important and loved, and reduce the confusion and anxiety that they might experience as the holiday celebrations go on around them.
Use these tips to help a senior with Alzheimer’s disease feel more involved during Thanksgiving preparations:
• Let them help choose the menu. Talk to your senior about what they do remember about Thanksgiving and the foods that they used to eat. You might find that even if they do not remember last Thanksgiving clearly, they might have strong memories of their childhood holidays and what they enjoy eating. Choose a few of these special dishes and prepare them for the holiday.
• Get them in the kitchen with you. Thanksgiving is all about the feast, and many elderly adults were once the ones responsible for preparing that feast. No longer being capable of making the meal themselves can be emotionally challenging, but you can help to reduce the stress by bringing them into the kitchen with you. Allow them to do simple meal preparation tasks such as tearing up lettuce for a salad, using a chopping tool to cut up vegetables, ripping up bread for the dressing, or stirring ingredients together. Encourage them to taste foods that are being prepared and offer their opinions on them. This is the perfect time to share memories of the holidays when they were younger and when you were younger.
• Consider elder care. Having an elderly home care services provider in the home with them is a powerful way to help your parent stay involved with Thanksgiving preparations even as they deal with the effects of Alzheimer’s disease. This care provider can offer your parent a personalized set of services to help them manage their needs and their symptoms, while also offering support and encouragement to guide them through preparation tasks such as cooking, decorating, setting the table, and being involved in activities with the family such as games after the meal.