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Dementia- Friendly Thanksgiving Tips

According to the Alzheimer’s Foundation of America (AFA), 6 million Americans are living with Alzheimer’s disease or a dementia- related illness. As families across the country prepare for Thanksgiving dinner, it is important to consider those loved ones impacted by the disease. They too should be able to enjoy the happiness and togetherness of the holidays.

Here are some tips to creating a dementia-friendly Thanksgiving:

1. Keep their routine in mind

A change in routine can be difficult for an individual living with Alzheimer’s, so planning around their schedule can be helpful. Hosting a gathering earlier in the day is recommended due to what is known as ‘sun downing.’ According to the Alzheimer’s Association, sun downing is the increased confusion that people with Alzheimer’s may experience from dusk through night.

2. Prepare Your Loved One

Familiarize your loved one before hand by showing photos of guests, sharing stories, or scheduling a phone call prior to the celebration. It may also be helpful to give them an idea of what festivities will be taking place.

3. Keep Them Involved

Thanksgiving is about togetherness after all, so try to keep your loved ones as involved as possible. Try having them help with preparing a simple dish, setting the table, or decorating.

4. Prepare a Quiet Place

If the festivities become too overwhelming for your loved one, make sure to prepare a quiet place away from the crowd with some of their favorite items such as a favorite blanket, sweater, or stuffed animal to ensure their comfort.

We hope these tips were helpful. Quality of Life Home Care and Hospice wishes you and your family a Happy and Healthy Thanksgiving!


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