Face of Lewy Body series: Holiday Celebrations

by dale on December 28, 2016

img_2051In my ongoing series of the “Face of Lewy Body”, this week’s insight is all about holiday celebrations.

Someone with dementia may be overwhelmed by all the people, noise, and change in environment during the holidays … things that we take in stride. A little stress for us translates into a lot of stress for them. But, with planning and oversight, we can create wonderful experiences and memories for them.

My husband Bill had 2 amazing experiences during the Christmas holiday, and I must say the friends who were responsible had no coaching from me. They have my admiration and gratitude.

First, Bill’s caregiver Sandy gave him a personalized ornament that she hand-painted. This meant the world to her and Bill.

And, then there is our friend Karen who invites us to Christmas dinner every year. This year was a little unique in that there were more people at the gathering, including 6 year old triplets as well as 4 dachshunds! I didn’t tell Bill about this because I knew he would say, no, he would not go. After we arrived, I stayed close, watching for signs of fatigue or frustration. But it worked out great, a day of fun and joy. The house was large so Bill found a comfy chair by the tree and gentle Stella climbed up in his lap. Good food and conversation was exactly what he needed.

Lesson learned: accept invitations, celebrate together, knowing that if you need to, you can always escape to a quiet room or go home early.

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