Navigating the Holiday Season With a Loved One Who Is Exhibiting Signs of Alzheimer’s Disease

The Christmas season is a time of family togetherness and making memories that last a lifetime. For young families, it’s a time of wonderment spent with grandparents and cousins…but what happens when you arrive in town–kids in tow–and Grandma suddenly has trouble remembering names, or struggles to find the words for common, everyday objects?

You may find that Grandpa has told you the same story three times during a span of a few hours…or asking you (with a little chuckle), “Now, what holiday are we celebrating again?” 

Alzheimer’s has three main stages: early Alzheimer’s disease, moderate Alzheimer’s disease, and severe Alzheimer’s disease. Changes in personality, mood, or behavior are all common signs that your loved one is dealing with memory loss, which could be the beginning stages of Alzheimer’s disease. Other common symptoms to look for include:

  • Difficulty making plans or everyday decisions
  • Misplacing items
  • Using poor judgment

It’s helpful to educate yourself on the signs and symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease so that you can be prepared to act accordingly during your visit and make preparations to get help for your loved one following the holiday.

  1. If you notice something isn’t quite right with Mom or Dad, start making mental notes about your observations to follow up with a healthcare provider. 
  2. Don’t correct or belittle your loved one in the moment; instead, help them find the right words or find the item they may have misplaced. 
  3. Speak with other family members privately to prepare them for your loved one’s memory concerns or symptoms.

In early or even moderate stages of Alzheimer’s disease, family members can step up to provide care for loved ones who are exhibiting symptoms. As the disease progresses, however, it can become very difficult to manage the advanced symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease and may even put your loved one and their caregiver at risk for serious injury. That’s where memory care comes in.

Memory care communities, such as The Lodge at Stephens Lake, can provide a safe, nurturing environment with trained caregivers who are equipped to handle this debilitating disease. They provide clinical care to the residents and support families as they journey through Alzheimer’s and dementia. In addition, memory care communities provide:

  • Rehabilitative physical, occupational & speech therapies
  • Structured and engaging programming that provides cognitive stimulation
  • Nutritious meals prepared specially for those suffering from Alzheimer’s
  • Caregiver resources & events

If you notice your family member is experiencing symptoms of Alzheimer’s, it’s important to know that you are never alone in this journey. Making it through the holiday season and enjoying your time with loved ones should be your top priority, and making plans to follow up with a healthcare provider soon thereafter is optimal. If you’d like to learn more about memory care at The Lodge at Stephens Lake and our wonderful team of caregivers, visit or call 706-307-4330.

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