Manage expectations

To manage expectations during the holidays:

  • Pick and choose. Decide which holiday activities and traditions are most important, and focus on those you enjoy. Remember that you can't do it all.
  • Prepare family members. If you have family coming in from out of town, update them on your loved one's status ahead of time so they know what to expect.
  • Delegate. Remember family and friends who've offered their assistance. Let them help with cleaning, addressing cards and shopping for gifts. Ask if one of your children or a close friend could stay with your loved one while you go to a holiday party.

Trust your instincts

As a caregiver, you know your loved one's abilities best. You also know what's most likely to agitate or upset him or her. Resist pressure to celebrate the way others might expect you to. You can't control the progress of Alzheimer's or protect your loved one from all distress — but by planning and setting firm boundaries you can avoid needless holiday stress and enjoy the warmth of the season.

Nov. 07, 2015 See more In-depth