As we go through the calendar year, especially the fall holiday seasons, there is a theme we must keep in mind to truly enjoy the seasons rather than merely endure. As our Lord and savior came into the world to bring about peace to mankind, we can also learn to bring peace to others.
Most of us look forward to seeing family during holiday breaks. Some family can be challenging to spend time with as aging takes a toll. If your loved one is aging abnormally with dementia, then you might go beyond the emotional challenges to experience their behavioral challenges. By keeping these few points in mind, you can help to keep the peace throughout a holiday season or any opportunity to visit your loved one throughout the year.
T – Toilet – Experiencing irritability? When was the last time they used the restroom?
H – Hunger – When was the last time they ate? Consider appropriate snacking.
I – Incontinent – Is their clothing dry, possibly time to change undergarments?
N – Noise/Chaos – Is the TV, music, or chatter in the room too loud or an anxiety trigger?
K – Know them – As they change, keep up with what is common and uncommon for them.
P – Pain/Discomfort – Check clothing for proper fitting and position while at rest.
E – Environment – Check the temperature to avoid being too hot or too cold.
A – Activity Level – Maintain current abilities to avoid boredom or over stimulation.
C – Crowded – Whether in your home or in a facility, keep it simple. Spread out visits.
E – Exhaustion – Be prepared to leave any activity early, if need be, to allow for rest.
Holidays make us reminisce about happier days and even long for the simpler times. As our loved ones live with dementia, they change faster than we can understand or keep up with. It does not take much to over complicate a precious moment. Think Peace and love them unconditionally.