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8 Ideas to Make the Holidays Special for a Loved One with Dementia

8 Ideas to Make the Holidays Special for a Loved One with Dementia

A senior woman holding a holiday gift
November 26, 2023

The holiday season is a time of joy, warmth, and making cherished memories with our loved ones. At TreVista, we understand the unique challenges faced by those living with Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia, and we’re dedicated to ensuring that each of our residents makes the most of this festive season. That is why today, we’ve compiled a list of helpful suggestions that will allow you and your loved one to experience the holiday to fullest. Read more below!


1. Create a Comforting Environment

Our first suggestion is to decorate their living space with familiar holiday items that are safe and non-disruptive. Soft, warm lights and familiar holiday music can evoke pleasant memories and feelings of comfort. Even putting a festive wreath on the door can bring a smile to their face. In The Villa, our secure community within TreVista, we ensure the environment is both festive and comfortable for those living with dementia.


2. Engage in Simple, Enjoyable Activities

Encouraging participation in simple, enjoyable holiday activities can be highly beneficial for cognitive health. Consider activities like:


Crafting Simple Ornaments

Did you know that engaging in arts and crafts can stimulate creativity and improve fine motor skills? Taking the time to create holiday ornaments can be both fun as well as beneficial. As an added bonus, it creates a fun keepsake for future holiday celebrations! 


Baking and Decorating Cookies

Nothing says that it’s holiday time quite like baking and decorating. These activities can enhance sensory experiences and evoke memories. If your senior loved one has small grandchildren, this can also be a great way to help them to spend time together. 


Singing Holiday Songs

It is no secret that music is known for its ability to awaken memories and improve mood. Put on some holiday tunes to get everyone in the right spirit! 


Watching Classic Holiday Movies 

For something a little more low key, try having a holiday movie marathon. This can be a soothing and enjoyable activity that sparks conversation about past holidays.

These activities not only provide enjoyment but also help in maintaining cognitive functions and encouraging social interaction, which are vital aspects of Alzheimer’s and dementia care in Concord, CA.


3. Reminisce About Holidays Past

Encouraging conversations about past holiday experiences can be a wonderful way for residents to reconnect with their memories. At TreVista, our staff, trained in Alzheimer’s and dementia care in Concord, CA, are skilled in guiding these reminiscences in a comforting and engaging manner. If you need a few communication tips, they are happy to help! 


4. Personalized Holiday Gifts

Just because it’s the holidays doesn’t mean that you need to break the bank. In fact, gifts that are meaningful, such as a favorite album, a soft blanket, or a photo album, can make a significant impact. Homemade presents are also sure to bring about feelings of warmth and connection! Your senior loved one wants to feel connected and thought of above all else. 


5. Maintain a Routine

Remember that while the holidays are a time for celebration, maintaining a routine is crucial for those with dementia. If you are hosting your senior loved one at your home, it is best to keep this in mind. If there is a particular time they usually eat or a designated time they need to take any medications, be mindful of that. Doing so will help minimize confusion and any negative behaviors associated with dementia. =

If your loved one is a resident at TreVista, rest assured that we balance holiday festivities with the daily routines that our residents find comforting and stabilizing.


6. Involve Them in Holiday Preparations

If you really want to help your loved one feel included, involve them in the holiday preparations! Simple tasks like folding napkins or helping with decorations can give a sense of accomplishment and involvement. Our staff at TreVista, including many Certified Dementia Providers, are adept at creating these engaging and safe activities.

A resident of the Alzheimer's and dementia care in Concord, CA and her granddaughter bake cookies

7. Celebrate with Customized Holiday Events

Organizing holiday events tailored to the preferences and abilities of our residents is a key aspect of Alzheimer’s and dementia care in Concord, CA. At TreVista, we focus on creating events that are both engaging and comfortable for those living with dementia. Some ideas include:


Themed Storytelling Sessions

Sharing holiday stories or reading aloud from beloved holiday books can be both soothing and cognitively stimulating.


Gentle Holiday-Themed Exercise

Light physical activities like stretching or simple dance movements to holiday music can improve physical health and create a sense of joy.


Interactive Holiday Light Viewing

A gentle walk or drive to view holiday lights can be a delightful sensory experience, sparking joy and memories.


Seasonal Nature Walks in Safe Areas

Connecting with nature, especially in a controlled and safe environment like The Villa, can be incredibly beneficial for mental well-being and maintaining a sense of the seasons.

These customized holiday events are not just about celebration; they are integral in promoting cognitive engagement, physical health, and emotional well-being in a festive, holiday spirit.


8. Ensure a Quiet Space is Available

Last but not least, be mindful that the hustle and bustle of the holidays can be overwhelming, especially for older adults living with cognitive decline. That is why it is vital to have a quiet, calm space where your loved one can retreat if things become too stimulating. Set aside a particular room in your home where they can safely go to get a little quiet in order to rest and recharge. Doing so will ensure a happier and more positive experience for everyone involved. 


Contact TreVista Today

If you or a loved one is dealing with cognitive challenges, most often due to a diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease or another type of dementia, The Villa may be a perfect fit. Our safe and secure community within TreVista ensures your loved one is in good hands. Our caring staff is specially trained to provide Alzheimer’s and dementia care in Concord, CA, with many becoming Certified Dementia Providers.

This holiday season, let TreVista be your partner in creating special moments for your loved one with dementia. If you are interested in learning more about our memory care community and services, please don’t hesitate to contact us. We are happy to answer any questions you may have and invite you to take a tour of our compassionate and vibrant community.