Date: November 9, 2022

Author: Kathleen Boziwick

Your mom is in the early stages of Alzheimer’s disease. She seems okay for the most part, but she does get extremely nervous in larger groups. Thanksgiving is coming up, and your family has always had a large gathering. Should you include her this year? How can home care assistance make it easier for your senior parent to take part in Thanksgiving activities?

Start by asking your mom what she thinks. She should have the choice to participate if she wants. If she does decide to join in, there are ways to ensure she doesn’t become too anxious or to help her through those stressful moments.

Give Her Tasks to Focus On

Give your mom something that takes focus and gives her a little distance. If she has something easy to do that requires a certain level of concentration, it can help her feel that she’s part of the planning while having space to do things on her own.

For example, your mom loves to bake. You could have her kneading the dough for rolls while you’re working on the pies. She could be helping set the table while others are greeting guests. Maybe one of her great-grandchildren is ready for a nap. She could read the child to sleep or rock an infant while feeding the baby a bottle.

Serve Favorite Foods

Make sure the menu includes many of your mom’s favorite foods. Ask her for some of her favorites. If she has recipes that remind her of her childhood, you can get her talking about her experiences as a kid. If you know she loved date pudding, make that in addition to the pumpkin pie.

Your family always hated the yams with marshmallows that your mom talked about from her childhood. Make it this year. Or, she loved to have scalloped potatoes instead of mashed ones. Have someone find a recipe and ensure it’s part of the meal.

Have a Quiet Space for Her to Retreat to When Necessary

Make sure there is a room where she can go and regain her composure. If she’s starting to feel anxious or overwhelmed, she can go to this room for a little bit. If the room has a radio or smart speaker, she could play music. Her older grandkids could join her and put on a movie.

What About the Rest of the Year?

Who helps your mom when the holidays are over? She may be in the early stages of Alzheimer’s now, but what happens in a few months? You don’t want to wait for a call that she’s wandered away or won’t leave her home due to anxiety.

Instead of leaving her alone every week, arrange home care assistance. She’ll have caregivers available to help her with housework, meals, transportation, cleaning, and so much more. Call a home care assistance specialist to get started.