Get to Know the Protocol
If you are planning on bringing your loved one out of long-term care this holiday, it's important to know the protocol ahead of time. This way, it helps to reduce added stress on that day. Check in with staff on the floor and ask them what they might require from you in advance.
At the same time you are asking about protocol, if your loved one takes any medications, be sure to ask if they provide them with you on the day of or if they can take them before they leave. It is important to consider their medications and make sure they take them on time.
Think about your Destination
Where will you be bringing your loved one? Will it be accessible to them? Is there anything that you might want to setup before the holidays so you are not forgetting anything? It's important to think about accessibility for your loved one and how you can best support them now that you are away from their care home.
Think about your Transportation
It is also important to think about transportation for your loved one. If they require a wheelchair, look into accessible taxis and make a plan ahead of time.
Are there certain items your loved one needs daily? Will you need to provide them with any toiletry items? Compile a list of items to pack in advance so that you are not forgetting anything. The autumn weather tends to fluctuate, and so it's a great idea for your loved one to dress in layers in case they become too hot or cold, they will be prepared for it.
If you are having your loved one over for Thanksgiving dinner, ensure to think about their meal preferences. It's helpful to have a blender available in the case that you need to mince or puree any food.
Are there certain activities your loved one with dementia enjoys doing? Thanksgiving might be an overwhelming time so it is important to have some activities available for them to engage in if they became overwhelmed or frustrated. This can help them to remain relaxed and stay occupied if others are prepping the meal. One of our favourite activities are our MadLibs, they are a great activity to engage in independently or with others.
Throughout the day, check in with your loved one, make sure they are comfortable. Stay proactive to help mitigate any negative behaviours associated with dementia and remember to remain calm and relaxed to reduce any frustrations.
Enjoy this Special Time
Last but not least, while there are many things to consider, having your loved one over for Thanksgiving is a special time! Take photos that you can cherish and make memories. Enjoy the moments you spend together and reflect on what you're thankful for.