Nana doesn't know the season, let alone the date or significance of any given day.
But that doesn't mean we can't enjoy the holidays. It actually means we can enjoy them even more (because every time is the first time for Nana)!
I put together a short list of things we've been doing on evenings and weekends to fill our spare time (and some things we haven't done yet, but plan on doing before the holidays pass!).
First tip - If you can, involve family members. Everyone likes a little extra attention sometimes - and it's also an easy way to show extra love to the person you're caring for.
Our family is all over the place, so we sent out a note on Facebook to have them mail cards to Nana - she loves to look at the mail and sort it, so why not get her some of her own?! The suggestion was well received by friends and family so I think we'll have a good amount of cards in the coming weeks. I'll be sure to share her reaction as she starts receiving some holiday love. <3
When Nana wants to get out at night, I've found a few streets that are full of holiday lights we can enjoy. We put a Spotify Christmas playlist on and drive through the neighborhood. Christmas tree lightings are also wonderful - but sometimes from a distance. The large crowds and cold weather have kept us away from the local lightings, but we've watched several on TV. You can do a quick Google search for local tree lightings and nearby neighborhoods known for their holiday displays.
We've also been enjoying more hot chocolate - I only heat hers as much as I would heat for a kid (she sometimes doesn't know if somethings too hot so we use care with that...) and we just hang out and chat about whatever comes up. I ask about her favorite holiday memories. Sometimes she has something to say and sometimes she doesn't. We have been watching more movies lately - she likes anything off the wall - the more obnoxious, the better. Comedies for the win!
If Nana's feeling particularly active (or if she's anxious, trying to leave, or otherwise not interested in whatever I'm trying to do with her), we adventure at the local malls. The outdoor malls (if it's not too cold out) are fun for spending daylight hours wandering around, and they're decorated for the holidays too. The indoor ones are a good escape when it's dark or too chilly. This is actually a year round activity for us - Nana is a shopper at heart so she enjoys the experience, even if we don't buy anything. She gets $3 in her fanny pack all the time, and when she really wants something I usually tell her to count her money to see if she has enough. When she realizes she doesn't, she says we'll have to come back when Daddy gives her more money! Ha! Whatever works...
There are a few other local events we are considering too - there's an ice sculpture display, zoo lights (an evening adventure), Santa visits, and more. If I can convince her to sit on Santa's lap this year, you'll be the first to see it!
What do you do with your elders for the holidays? Anyone have any other suggestions for Alz-friendly activities? I'd love to hear your thoughts!