As we march into this holiday weekend, despite all the responsibilities remember to have fun. Life is made up of moments. I know it's corny but it's true. Make each moment count... So think of July 4th as a trial run for Thanksgiving & Christmas. Here are some tips when you have to set the table for grandpa and his +1:

  1. Learn everything you can about the kind of dementia and what to expect, physically, physiologically, mentally and emotionally.
  2. Let guests and others know what to expect. The fewer surprises the less stress. 
  3. Have a plan in place in case you have to shift gears, locations or…..
  4. Keep close to routine. Think about the kinds of activities that are planned for the holiday. See if you can modify it to be as close to regular routine as possible. Also consider the environment, instead of a picnic in the park do it in someone’s back yard. One less thing to worry about if grandpa tends to wander. Plan a story time I bet grandpa would love to tell the kids some stories from way back when…
  5. If you notice grandpa getting overwhelmed take him away from the group to somewhere calm and familiar, remember you have a plan B.
  6. ASK for HELP.

And remember… they can’t change but you can.

Because You Care



1.     Seek support from other caregivers.  You are not alone! 
2.     Take care of your own health so that you can be strong enough to take care of your loved one.
3.     Accept offers of help and suggest specific things people can do to help you. 
4.     Learn how to communicate effectively with doctors. 
5.     Caregiving is hard work so take respite breaks often.
6.     Watch out for signs of depression and don't delay in getting professional help when you need it. 
7.     Be open to new technologies that can help you care for your loved one. 
8.     Organize medical information so it's up to date and easy to find.
9.     Make sure legal documents are in order.
10. Give yourself credit for doing the best you can in one of the toughest jobs there is!
11. As much as you can try to plan ahead to avert crisis. We are all approaching the inevitable. 

Because You Care

First published by Caregivers Action Network