1. For those with dementia, who may have memory loss; try to enjoy the day without expectations. Allow them to be comfortable in the surroundings they are in. What they may not remember; may be a blessing anyway.
2. If your loved one has diabetes and needs to refrain from sugar, the sugar-less candies today taste just as good; even the sugar-free chocolate is very good. There are many options for dessert nowadays in the grocery store which are also sugar-free. They need not feel deprived.
3. If ham or pork are a problem for dinner, a roasted chicken or lamb dinner is a good alternative.
4. Taking your loved one to Sunday services is a very special blessing. If possible, see if they will attend with you. This can be a very memorable time for you as a family, and should be.
5. Flowers, special sacred music, and just an atmosphere of love, and companionship is very important.
6. If your loved one is bed-ridden, and you are going to visit them; try to find something you know they will like, something that will brighten their situation. A good book, a CD of some music you know they like, a tidbit of food that is special to them. When you visit them; ask them about their own life. Perhaps bring up a happy memory, share a chuckle with them if possible. If they are depressed, try to encourage them to open up to you, and talk about what is in their heart. Many times if they know you care, it doesn’t matter if you have any answers; it just means a great deal to them to know they can talk to you, and you are really listening.
7. Make sure the real meaning of the holiday is brought up, bring an opportunity to share faith in the Lord. This life is temporal, we are all on a journey to the end of our time here in this world.
These tips may help the caregiver lessen the stress of an already difficult situation; and bring an atmosphere of love and joy into the season.