Check out these tips to help with caregiving of those with dementia.
Seasons Greetings
Evergreen + berries
The holiday season has begun, a time to gather with family and friends. To make the season a joyous one with your loved with Alzheimer's and dementia, we are sharing some helpful tips. In this newsletter you will find:
  • Tips for lessening holiday stress.
  • Fun activities to do together.
  • Ideas to get the most out of your visit with a loved one with dementia.
  • And, some seasonal fun.
Read on.
Celebrating the Holiday Season in December 
 
Happy Hanukkah, Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. December is chock-full of festivities and our community activity calendar is too. With holiday music from special guests to fun crafts to invigorating activities, there's something going on all day, every day. Click on the link below.


Our Caregiver Support Group Meeting is the  second Tuesday  of the month at  10:30 am Join us on  Dec. 11 .

Families, you are welcome to attend the Family Council meeting. This month it will be Thursday, Dec. 20 from 11:00 am to 1 pm.
chef_beautiful_decorating.jpg
What's Cooking?


Check out the tasty meals planned for December
at the community.

 
Keeping Cool (Lessen Stress) 
for the Holidays

With so many demands, for many, the holidays can be a stressful period. A caregiver's heath is just as important as everyone involved with dementia. Make sure you take the right steps to stay ahead and minimize stress. Use these suggestions to make sure you enjoy the holidays more and stress less.
 
Plan Ahead
If you know there will be a lot going on during the holidays, be sure to plan accordingly. Get help with grocery runs, baking, or other tasks to prevent any last minute stress.
 
Reach Out for Help
It is okay to ask for help when caring for someone with dementia. Ask for help from your peers or family members. Here's the trick: be specific. Prepare a grocery list and ask a friend to pick up your items when they go to the market. It will save you time and let them feel needed.
 
Adult day care, in-home care, and respite services can offer a much needed break for the caregiver as well as the one with dementia.
 
Let it Go
Give yourself a break and don't try to tackle too much. If you aren't able to get to everything on your to do list, that's okay. Celebrate your accomplishments and forgive yourself for not doing it all. You are more apt to enjoy the holidays when you are relaxed.
 
We also found some more advice to lessen stress from the Mayo Clinic. Click on the link below.
Acti vities You Can Do Together

Allow your loved one do as much as they can and provide them with a sense of purpose this holiday season. You can add a little fun to your holidays with a variety of stimulating activities. Be sure to remember the three S's when planning an activity for your loved one:
  • Simple- Keep activities simple by providing single-step directions and taking it one step at time.
  • Safe- Ensure proper supervision, settings and materials are considered to maintain safety.
  • Scheduled- Schedule the time of day best suited to the person's most active time period to allow for best engagement.
Following these steps for activities will provide an enjoyable and engaging experience.
 
Here are a few ideas to get you started:
  • Music- Put on their favorite holiday music and reminisce. Snap your fingers, tap your toes, and remember the good times.
  • Invite the Grandchildren- Have the grandchildren visit and plan a fun activity or outing. Enjoying the holiday through a child's eyes is uplifting.
  • Holiday Decorating- Involve your loved one in decorating your home. Ask them to hang the stockings or help fluff d├ęcor. Share stories about traditions or make up new ones.
  • Baking- Bake and decorate your favorite cookies or holiday treats...together. Remember to keep instructions simple and celebrate creativity. (See recipe below.)
  • Pets- Pets visits can be therapeutic. Don't have a pet? Make a visit to a local dog park and watch the furry friends frolic.
  • Creative Activity- Creating a holiday flower arrangements together is a great way to exercise creativity and dexterity, plus the finished piece can add beauty to your home.
Visiting a Loved One with Dementia

Visiting a loved one in memory care can bring happiness to the resident, but visitors may be apprehensive. With the proper preparation, your experience can be a joyous one. Below you will find some tips that may help you along the way.
 
Alzheimer's disease and related dementias affect short-term memory. Do not worry if your loved one does not remember you or remember recent events. You can assist recall by bringing something that can help them remember the past. Family photos or their favorite keepsake can be great conversation starters. Check out the community's activity calendar and schedule your visit around a fun event.  Patience is key, when it comes to memory care. With dementia, it is common that your loved one may repeat themselves. When this occurs, it is best to respond to the question or statement as if it is the first time. You want to make their experience as enjoyable as yours.
 
Your loved one may have times when they are upset or agitated during your visit. It is best to stop what is going on and redirect attention to something positive. Turning negatives into positives can help prevent arguments and agitation. Eye contact, a gentle touch and a warm smile can go a long way. 
 
This holiday season, your greatest gift for a loved one is a visit from you. Preparation can make that visit even more enjoyable.
 
To read more about preparing for your visit click the link below:
Fun Holiday Cookie Recipe

Surprise your guests this holiday with this delicious Ginger Cookie recipe from ActivCare Executive Chef, Victor Boge.

Ginger Cookies

Ingredients:
1 sticks margarine
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 egg
1 1/2 Tsp. ginger
2 1/4 cups flour
1/2 Tsp. baking soda
1/4 Tsp. salt
1/2 Tsp. cinnamon
1/4 cup molasses

Directions:
Step 1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.
Step 2. Cream together margarine, sugar, and molasses until smooth.
Step 3. Add eggs and blend well.
Step 4. Add baking soda, salt, spices, flour and fold together.
Step 5. Roll out dough to 1/4 inch thick. Use cookie cutters in seasonal shapes or use a               traditional round shape to cut dough..
Step 6. Place evenly spread on a cookie sheet.
Step 7. Cook at 325 for 8 to 10 minute until golden crisp.
Step 8. Unlike Gingerbread Men, these tasty cookies do not need decorating and pair                 well with hot tea.
Here's a giggle...

Q. Why do Dasher and Dancer love coffee?
A. Because they're Santa's star bucks!
 
Q. How is the alphabet different on Christmas from every other day?
A. There's Noel!
 
Not Sharing
While sitting on Santa's lap, a boy asked for an electric train set. "If you get your train," Santa said, "your dad is going to want to play with it too. Is that all right?"
 
The boy became very quiet. To move the conversation along, Santa asked, "What else would you like Santa to bring you?"
He promptly replied, "Another train."

The office Christmas party is a great opportunity to catch up with people you haven't seen for 20 minutes.

Did You Know...

Though Santa Claus has worn blue and white and green in the past, his traditional red suit came from a 1930s ad by Coca Cola.
 
The first artificial Christmas tree was made in Germany, fashioned out of goose feathers that are dyed green!
 
The name December comes from the Latin decem for "ten," as it was the tenth month in the Roman Calendar.
ActivCare at Bressi Ranch  |  6255 Nygaard Street  |  Carlsbad, CA 92009
(760) 705-1840  |   ActivCareLiving.com