Surviving the Holidays
You can still enjoy the holidays with family and friends even if you have the early stage of Alzheimer’s. You need not isolate yourself or give up going to get-togethers. It will take some extra time to plan and make the best of your holidays so that you can enjoy them without worry. Your ability to complete daily responsibilities has been more of a challenge than it used to be, and you have to use strategies to keep you on task. This does not have to be complicated and it will make your life easier even after the holidays.
Minimizing Holiday Stress
Surviving the holidays is always stressful, but the following coping strategies can help get you through!
- Identify the tasks that have been more challenging - Make a list of the tasks that you find more challenging to stay on top of. If you keep forgetting food is on the stove, get a loud timer set for every 5 minutes to remind you to check on your food
- Decide which task is most necessary - Take your important tasks and make reminders for them whether on a list or electronic reminder. If you have to pick up a present for someone, put a reminder on your phone for a time you would have that would be conducive for shopping for a present. You can also have a reminder on your calendar to shop online for a gift as well. Asking someone to call you to remind you to go shop for that gift could be helpful as well
- Find the solution that works best for you - You may find that cooking a meal in the crock pot may be easier than making a meal with several steps. If you can simplify a process, all the better
- Approach each task individually and don’t get stuck on it - You will want to give yourself enough time to complete a task. If it is too difficult, just leave it and come back later to it
- If a problem cannot be solved one way, approach it with another solution - You may find it will take a few different strategies to finally achieve your goal. You should write it down in a journal if it is something that is important for you to remember. You can assess what could have been done differently and make adjustments as needed
- You can use your support system to help you get through - The best things to have are family, friends, even pets, to help you get through difficult times like setbacks and challenges that keep you from accomplishing goals. They will help strengthen your resolve.
Your greatest concern may be losing your independence as Alzheimer’s gets worse in the future. You do not like to ask for help from others since it can mean you are becoming more dependent on people. This is not a sign of weakness on your part. You need to ask for help so you can maintain your independence.