Creating Happy Holidays by Design

Identifying environmental triggers may be the answer

The holidays are rapidly approaching, and it seems they arrive faster every year.  The recognizable aromas and distinct savory flavors of Grandma’s homestyle recipes that take you immediately back to those memorable gatherings with your cherished family. What a wonderful time of year! The sights and sounds of the holidays may feel nostalgic for you, but perhaps not for your loved one.

For individuals living with dementia, environmental factors may trigger discomfort.  They try very hard to focus and grasp what all is going on outside of them in their environment.  There are a number of things that impact their ability to stay calm and comfortable, things they can’t remember or grasp. But there is much that they are still able to appreciate and enjoy.  They work really hard every day inside their brain to stay on top of what they can, to concentrate on what’s going on.  It’s harder for them than it is for you and so their environment becomes a major influence on their well-being.  The chaos of the holidays can be challenging for any of us, so perhaps it is time to consider if that large family gathering may be too much for a loved one living with dementia. 

Certain stimuli, like noises, clutter, startling movements or sounds, poor lighting, too much chaos and unfamiliar people may all cause distress. It’s important to be aware of reactions to any of these factors and to observe changes. As a care provider, we’re assigned to identify environmental triggers and explore ways to decrease, or even eliminate these stressors. Assess the need to introduce others by name and relationship to assist when name retrieval or facial recognition has declined.

The Inspired Senior Care training delivers a year of lessons that work in conjunction with framed posters, conversation cards, recognition tokens, monthly lesson plans, additional interactive training and consultative resources. The program’s consistent flow provides familiarity for the trainer to simplify preparation and delivery of the lessons, and its conversational approach makes it easy for staff to engage with the information and turn it into actionable on-the-job behaviors to further enhance your community’s commitment to care for seniors.

INSPIRED SENIOR CARE will help you strengthen the welcoming, supportive, care-centric community you provide for your residents. INSPIRED SENIOR CARE will facilitate and foster a healthy and encouraging work environment for your staff. INSPIRED SENIOR CARE will equip your team with strategies that promote peace of mind for families seeking a genuine quality of life for their loved ones.

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