Stay Positive to Help Those with Dementia at Events


Throughout the year there are holidays, birthdays, graduations, weddings and other events that we want to bring a loved one who has dementia.

Dancing at the InnovAge Johnson Adult Day Program for those with dementia.
Dancing at the InnovAge Johnson Adult Day Program for those with dementia.

No doubt this is a challenge. But with some planning and flexibility these events can be fun occasions.

While those of us who care for people with Alzheimer’s disease usually say it’s best to keep activities routine and minimize distractions, at these events it’s probably not possible.

Meeting people can be difficult for someone with dementia. When introducing your loved one to someone new, or even those you expect him or her to know, a full introduction is necessary. They often don’t remember names of friends or their grandchildren. Introducing your loved one each time serves to reduce awkwardness and helps your loved one keep dignity intact and reduce embarrassment.

Remember to stay with your loved one throughout the event. If the event becomes overwhelming, look for a quiet place to regroup. I’d also recommend setting a specific amount of time to stay at any event and then promptly leaving when the time is reached.

Mary Tuuk_2014_SmMary Tuuk, MD, an expert in the care and treatment of aging adults, is chief medical officer at InnovAge

 

 

This InnovAge blog is for informational purposes only, and is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding your health or medical needs.

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