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Advice for Visiting the Elderly at Christmas

This week, the NewJerseyNewsRoom.com published some good advice for families who may have elderly relatives in a nursing home. Although you may be tempted to bring the family member home for the day on the holiday, there are some things that you should consider.

If your elderly family member has Alzheimer’s disease or another form of dementia, he or she may become emotionally confused by all the people celebrating at your home. The level of noise may also be too much for them. The elderly family member may even “act out.” The article notes that even those with mild dementia do better in a controlled, calm environment. He or she will feel much safer in the nursing home rather than your home, which might get crowded and noisy.

Caregivers need a day to let go of their caregiving responsibilities, even if the caregiving that is provided is only in an oversight position. The holiday is a time for you to enjoy yourself, recharge your batteries, and join in the festivities.

Another consideration is if your family member is in a wheelchair. That can cause difficulties, especially if your home is not wheelchair friendly.

Remember that every nursing home and skilled nursing facility has a private room where family members can get together. You can schedule a few visits with your loved one with each family member and children. This can reduce the amount of noise and won’t make it so crowded. The article suggested bringing your family member’s favorite food, or even sharing dessert with him or her. You can bring pictures from events in the past year that can be shared. Visiting your loved one in his or her nursing home provides much more of the attention that he or she needs.

It’s important that caregivers remember at this time of the year to take some time out from their caregiving responsibilities and concerns. Both you and your loved one will benefit.