How Alzheimer’s Disease Can Change Holidays

Holidays can be bittersweet when a family is impacted by Alzheimer’s or dementia. Long held traditions often need to be reconfigured. The needs of the loved one with Alzhiermer’s often take center stage when the holiday plans are being made. Below we list some great Thanksgiving activities for senior assisted living residents and their families. 

Top Memory Care and Assisted Living Community in San Diego, California 

MesaView Senior Assisted Living is a family owned and operated independent and assisted living community in La Mesa, California. Our owners have firsthand experience of having loved ones with Alzheimer’s and dementia and know all that goes into making decisions around memory care for a loved one. 

We walk alongside families as they traverse the difficult road of Alzheimer’s and have been supporting the greater San Diego community for a decade. In addition to independent and assisted living care, we also provide accommodations for hospice care. At Mesa View Senior Assisted Living (and at our partner locations, Harbor View Senior Assisted Living, RanchView Senior Assisted Living and Bay View Assisted Living) we strive to provide compassionate, individualized care, preserving our residents’ dignity at every stage of their Alzheimer’s journey. 

Holiday Activities for Seniors in Assisted Living 

  • Thanksgiving Celebration at the Assisted Living Community: This is something we do annually at our assisted living communities! Our fantastic event coordinators plan thoughtful, meaningful, and fun celebrations for our residents and their families. Celebrating at their assisted living communities can be less disruptive for individuals with Alzheimer’s because they can maintain most of their routines. The family can then have an additional larger gathering for the holiday at home and don’t have to think about planning and hosting multiple events. 
  • Record Family Recipes and Stories: Depending on what stage someone is at in their memory loss progression, sitting together and reminiscing can be a special thing to do around the holidays. Oftentimes even when short-term memory is compromised, individuals with dementia and cognitive decline can still recall things held in their long-term memory. People are sometimes able to remember things like songs, recipes, and childhood stories, even when other memories are gone. Recording a few family recipes can be a fun and meaningful activity. 
  • Create a Gratitude Tree: This can be done throughout the Thanksgiving season or just on Thanksgiving day itself. Set up a tree and tie papers listing what people are thankful for to the tree. 
  • Singing Together: As mentioned above, Alzheimer’s affected individuals are often able to remember songs, especially if they were learned in childhood. Some are even able to remember how to play instruments when many other facets of memory are gone. Singing together during a holiday celebration can be a great way to connect as a family. 
  • Make Thanksgiving Name Cards: This can be a fun and creative way to include an Alzheimer affected family member in some of the Thanksgiving prep. There is some incredible artwork created by people with cognitive decline! Using watercolors to create pretty fall hued backgrounds on name cards is a great option. Once the watercolor paint dries, people’s names can be written with a black sharpie. Stickers and stamps with Thanksgiving themes are also other great tools to use for this activity. 

Best Senior Assisted Living Community in San Diego At MesaView Senior Assisted Living (as well as at our sister sites, BayView Senior Assisted Living in Point Loma and HarborView Assisted Living in San Diego), we pride ourselves on our compassionate, individualized, and holistic model of care. To find out what sets us apart give us a call and schedule a COVID safe tour of our one-of-a-kind assisted living home in San Diego!