MCLEAN, Va., Nov. 13, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- In honor of Alzheimer's Awareness Month and the holiday season, Sunrise Senior Living (NYSE: SRZ) is offering tips and support groups to help families as they care for the growing number of seniors with memory loss.
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"The holidays can be a stressful time for any family and celebrating with a loved one with memory loss adds unique challenges," said Rita Altman, vice president of Memory Care and Program Services at Sunrise. "The holidays are meant for celebrating together, so it is important to help those with memory loss feel that they are a part of your celebration. By following these simple tips, you can include your loved ones in more meaningful ways."With more than 30 years of experience providing care for those living with dementia, including Alzheimer's disease, Sunrise provides the following tips to help families make this holiday season more memorable:
- PREPARE: Remind family and friends they should "live in the moment" with the person and accept that they may not be able to remember. Develop ways to communicate with your loved one; however, try to avoid saying "don't you remember when..."
- ADAPT: Individuals with memory loss often feel overwhelmed. Try simplifying a table setting, turning down music or asking people to speak clearly and a little more slowly to ease anxiety.
- ENGAGE SENSES: Scents and memories are often closely linked. Recreate a favorite dish or have your loved one help you make it. Play their favorite holiday music, sing with them, or dance together. Don't forget to incorporate your pets!
- GET SUPPORT: Taking a break from caregiving can be a positive step for both you and your loved one. Turn to a local Sunrise community throughout the year for support groups for family members and short-term stays for loved ones.