Tips for Recognizing Stress This Holiday

We Can Help Make the Holidays Less Stressful 

The holiday season can be a stressful time for people particularly those who are not only preparing the season but are also caring for someone with dementia. This was the topic discussed during the Encore Café Lunch and Learn at Lowe Park in Marion with Stephanie Humphries, owner of Right at Home. Stephanie is a dementia and cognitive support specialist and a caregiver support group facilitator with the Alzheimer’s Association. 

The program began with an overview of what stress is and how it affects the body, especially when experienced on a long-term basis. Stephanie also covered tips for recognizing and addressing stress, specifically some suggestions for how to involve a loved one with dementia during the holidays. This tips include:

  • It is important to include everyone during gatherings so consider taking a walk, decorating cookies, making a memory book or even doing chores together.
  • Have a “quiet room” ready for your loved one in case the environment gets overwhelming for them or consider having a few different smaller gatherings rather than one large one.
  • You always want to promote a safe environment so avoiding “real” candles and not having artificial fruits/veggies or edibles as decorations. 
  • Assign a “buddy” to your loved one so you know someone will be supervising them at all times.
  • Most importantly, prepare your guests for the behaviors that can associated with dementia and how to best communicate with these individuals. 

The holidays can be less stressful when these ideas are implemented along with recruiting some help from others as needed. When friends and family are busy, Right at Home caregivers can provide companionship for someone with dementia and the respite needed for their primary caregiver, usually a spouse, son, or daughter. They can also provide light housekeeping and meal preparation so the focus can be on enjoying the holidays and not the extra work that often accompanies them.

If someone you love is in need of care, contact us today.

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S. Humphries
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