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Celebrating Thanksgiving With A Parent With Alzheimer’s

Celebrating Thanksgiving With a Parent With Alzheimer’s

There are more than 5 million people in the United States today with Alzheimer’s, so if you or a member of your family is affected by Alzheimer’s, you are not alone. Here are some tips to help you celebrate Thanksgiving with a loved one who is experiencing trouble with their memory:

Carefully phrase your words

It can be upsetting for a person with Alzheimer’s if you ask them if they remember something about a past holiday and they don’t. Rather than saying, “do you remember when…”, be sure to say “wasn’t it great when…” or “this year is just as great as the time when…” It may help jog their memory, and will prevent them from feeling uncomfortable that they’ve forgotten something that’s special to you.

Engage them in preparations

Although safety is always the top priority and there may be some things your loved one can’t help with, there are certainly ways to engage them in holiday and meal preparations. Ask them to stir some dough, or fill a pitcher with water. Maybe they can help you determine the seating arrangements, or help you finalize your menu.

Create a comfortable environment

Make sure that you haven’t invited so many guests that the room is loud and crowded, and have an extra room ready for them if they need to lie down.

Carol Pardue-Spears

Carol has worked in the healthcare field for more than forty years. As a Certified Nursing Assistant, she worked for El Camino Hospital in the cardiac unit, Los Gatos Community Hospital, The Women’s Cancer Center in Los Gatos and several home health and hospice agencies. Carol founded Family Matters in 2002 to fill a deficit she witnessed in high-quality, in-home services and care.

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