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Health Tips for November 8

Posted Nov 07 2008 9:04pm

Health Tip: Caring for a Loved One During the Holidays

Holidays are a time of happiness but they can also be quite stressful, especially for caregivers and their charges with Alzheimer's disease.

The National Institute on Aging offers these suggestions for caregivers:

  • Keep up with family traditions, and, as much as possible, include your loved one with Alzheimer's disease.
  • Understand and accept the changes that the disease brings, and be realistic in your expectations.
  • Encourage visits from family and friends, but arrange them appropriately. Don't schedule too many at a time, and plan them when the person with Alzheimer's is likely to be at his or her best.
  • Keep your loved one comfortable and happy by keeping the routine the same, and avoiding crowds and confusing situations.
  • Ask for help so that you have time to relax and enjoy the holidays.
Health Tip: Activities for People With Alzheimer's

People with Alzheimer's disease should be kept busy, both mentally and physically. This can be a challenge.

The National Institute on Aging says building on current skills generally works better than trying to learn something new. The agency offers these suggestions:

  • Keep activities simple and at the person's level.
  • Offer more support as the person gets started, and break the activity into small steps.
  • Don't push any activity if you notice the person getting agitated.
  • If the person enjoys certain activities, try to make them part of a daily routine.
  • Have the person assist in the entire routine. At mealtime, for instance, have the person help set the table, make the food and clean up afterward.
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