Holiday Activities for Families Living with Alzheimers That Lower Stress

by Brandy Nasi on December 1, 2015

For families living with Alzheimer’s, and other dementias, the holidays can be very challenging. Holiday stress can soar when a loved one has Alzheimer’s, safety concerns intensity and beloved traditions may now bother or frighten them.

But there is a solution. Keep your loved one busy and engaged with repetitive activities that stimulate their brains while boosting their sense of usefulness and accomplishment. While you and I might easily get bored with repetitive activities, someone with dementia or Alzheimer’s disease actually can find it comforting and re-assuring. Since they lose the ability to select satisfying activities and follow through on them, you need to initiate things to do.

Here is a list of some activities families can do together:

  • String popcorn
  • Make paper chain garlands
  • Decorate apples or oranges with cloves and ribbon (pomander)
  • Make holiday cards
  • Stick stamps and return labels onto greeting cards
  • Go caroling together
  • Play old holiday music
  • Read holiday books aloud
  • Make cookies
  • Crack nuts
  • Rake fall leaves
  • Make paper snowflakes to decorate the house
  • Polish the silver
  • Put out holiday candles throughout the house
  • Find holiday related crossword puzzles (kids books)
  • Wrap gifts
  • Collect pine cones for a decorative basket
  • Stock up on classic holiday movies
  • Put together a photo album of holidays past.
  • Do a jigsaw puzzle together
  • Hang the holiday cards
  • Make a holiday card holder

When caring for an aging loved one, families may need to make adjustments to their typical traditions, so take this as an opportunity to create new family traditions.

(PHOTO CREDIT: Stockfresh)

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