SALT LAKE CITY (Good Things Utah) — The holidays are a time to spend with those we love most. Though, when someone is experiencing cognitive decline, the festivities can be a lot to handle.

In the studio today we had Jeremy Cunningham with the Alzheimer’s Association sharing ways that we can be more inclusive and mindful of those struggling with cognitive decline like Alzheimer’s disease.

What are some of the ways we can make the season less stressful?

Avoid overdecorating. While part of the tradition, this overstimulation can be challenging for those with dementia. Rather than elaborate decorations for the holidays, find a few festive favorites to adorn your space.

Create a safe and calm space. Keep a close eye on tripping hazards, such as wires and decorations. In addition, create a comfortable space for them where loved ones can visit without overwhelming them.

Involve the person in the planning and preparations. Involving those people in our seasonal plans and allowing them to help decide will not only help make them feel prioritized, but it will also create quality memories.

Adapt past favorite traditions or create new ones. Traditions are great but starting new ones with those in cognitive decline can make the celebrations extra special while making them feel more included in the fun.

For more information, go online to alz.org. You can call their 24/7 helpline at 800-272-3900.



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