Assured Quality Homecare - Stock image - Blog - Alzheimer's cover
By: Samanta Roseme Posted: Dec 23rd, 2021
Senior Care

Alzheimer's and You - Tips To Make This Holiday Season Memorable & Joyous

As anyone with a loved one, a mom, dad, sister, or brother diagnosed with Alzheimer’s can tell you, the disease (or any other form of dementia) is a family diagnosis. The effects of the disease extend beyond the individual to You their primary caregiver and also everyone who loves them. While your loved one may be facing the symptoms, you will also be feeling the sadness that comes with watching someone you care about no longer remember the details of their life, or not being able to enjoy this joyous season with family gatherings, making lasting memories. 

Family members must learn to cope with new responsibilities, changing family dynamics, and their varying emotional responses to their loved one’s disease. Sometimes there is no right or wrong answer and in our experience Alzheimers is not a one size fits all condition.

Alzheimer's Disease develops over time, causing changes in the brain that affect a person's memory, thinking, and behavior. According to the Alzheimer’s Association, more than 5 million Americans are living with Alzheimer's Disease, and 16 million Americans serve as unpaid caregivers to loved ones with Alzheimer’s Disease or related dementias. With every change to a loved one’s health as the disease progresses over time, these 16 million caregivers are along for the journey right there with their loved ones.

A better understanding of the symptoms and causes of Alzheimer's disease can help you seek and develop strategies to make the best life possible for a loved one, and for yourself. This knowledge can also help you make decisions about a loved one’s care and how it might need to evolve along with the disease.


Understanding Alzheimer’s or dementia behavior problems

Assured Quality Homecare - stock images - blog - alzheimers

One of the major challenges of caring for a loved one with Alzheimer’s or dementia is coping with the troubling behavior and personality changes that often occur. Aggressiveness, hallucinations, wandering or eating, or sleeping difficulties can be upsetting and make your role as caregiver even more difficult. Whatever problems you’re dealing with, it’s important to remember that the person with dementia is not being difficult. Often, your loved one’s behavioral issues become worse by their environment, their inability to deal with stress, or their frustrated attempts to communicate. 

By making some simple changes, you can ease your loved one’s stress, better manage their symptoms, and improve their well-being—as well as your own caregiving experience. The first step to resolving the troubling behavior is to establish why your loved one is stressed or what’s triggering their discomfort.

As you try to identify the causes, it’s important to remember that a person with dementia responds to your facial expression, tone of voice, and body language far more than the words that you choose. So, use eye contact, a smile, or reassuring touch to help convey your message and show your compassion. And rather than take problem behaviors personally, do your best to maintain your sense of humor.

Five ways to help identify the causes of problem behavior

  • Look at your loved one’s body language and imagine what they might be feeling or trying to express.
  • Ask yourself, what happened just before the problem behavior started? Did something trigger the behavior?
  • Are the person's needs met? Is your loved one hungry, thirsty, or in pain?
  • Does changing the environment by introducing favorite music, for example, help to comfort the person?
  • How did you react to the problem behavior? Did your reaction help to soothe the patient or did it make the behavior worse?

Now let's look at ways we can tackle these causes of behavior.

Assured Quality Homecare - stock image - Elderly care - mother daughter


Create a calm and soothing environment

The environment and atmosphere you create while caregiving can play a large part in helping an Alzheimer’s or dementia patient feel calm and safe. Change the environment to reduce potential stressors that can create agitation and disorientation. These include loud or unidentifiable noises, shadowy lighting, mirrors or other reflecting surfaces, garish colors, and patterned wallpaper.
Use calming music or play your loved one’s favorite type of music as a way to relax them when agitated. Music therapy can also help soothe someone with Alzheimer’s disease during mealtimes and bath times, making the processes easier for both of you.

Maintain calm within yourself. 

Getting anxious or upset in response to problem behavior can increase the level of stress for your loved one. Respond to the emotion rather than the behavior itself. Try to remain flexible, patient, and relaxed. If you find yourself becoming anxious or losing control, take time out to cool down.

Manage stress in an Alzheimer’s or dementia patient

Different stress-reducing techniques work better for some Alzheimer’s patients than others, so you may need to experiment to find the ones that best help your loved one.

Exercise is key

Exercise is one of the best stress-relievers for both the Alzheimer’s patient and you, the caregiver. Regular walking, dancing, or seated exercises can have a positive effect on many problem behaviors, such as aggression, wandering, and difficulty sleeping. New England surprises us at times with beautiful weather conditions, so why not take a scenic walk or try Indoor shopping malls if outdoors is not an option.

Simple activities

Simple activities can be a way for your loved one to reconnect with their earlier life. Someone who used to enjoy cooking, for example, may still gain pleasure from the simple task of washing vegetables for dinner. Try to involve your loved one in as many daily activities as possible. Folding laundry, watering plants, or going for a drive in the country can all help to manage stress.


Remembering the past may also help calm and soothe your loved one. Even if they can’t remember what happened a few minutes ago, they may still recall things from decades ago. Try asking general questions about their distant past.

Social Activity

Interacting with other people is still important. While large groups of strangers may increase stress for an Alzheimer’s or dementia patient, spending time with different people in one-on-one situations can help to increase physical and social activity and relieve stress.

A Pet is a great boost for the mind and soul

Pets can provide a source of positive, nonverbal communication. The playful interaction and gentle touch from a well-trained, docile animal can help soothe your loved one and decrease aggressive behavior. If you don’t have a pet of your own, there are special organizations that offer pet visits for those with Alzheimer’s or dementia.

Find Time for Yourself

Lastly and this is so vital - take care of yourself! Or reach out for help. While in the role of caretaker for a loved one that needs Alzheimer’s care, it is easy to forget that you need care as well. Too often, we will focus all our time and energy on the parent, or sibling, or spouse and forget that we need to take time for ourselves, as well. This can be difficult, as depending on the stage of Alzheimer’s, your loved one may need around-the-clock care. Taking time off from caring for a loved one can cause the caregiver to experience feelings of guilt. Keep in mind that, if you do too much, you can become ill yourself, which will help no one. Be sure to call on family members and friends to help, or enlist the aid of a professional caregiver. A few hours off to engage in a fun or relaxing activity can go a long way to recovering your energy.


At Assured Quality Homecare, we understand the heartache that comes with Alzheimer’s disease and dementia,” shares Kelley Roy. “Our community builds upon the values and aspirations we have for our own families’ well-being, and many of us have seen first-hand the familial trials that Alzheimer’s brings with it.

“We are here to help your loved ones, and seniors living with memory loss as well as their family members best we can. Whether you and your family are looking for dignified memory care for a loved one, resources on care techniques, or a community of support made up of compassionate people who understand what you’re going through, Assured Quality Homecare can help you find what you need.”

NursePower (Powered by ASQ Homecare) logo

How can NursePower help you?

 We save you time & effort

 We give you peace of mind

 We reduce your confusion

Share this post:


About Samanta Roseme, RN BSN

Samanta Descombes Roseme, also known as Sam, is the Founder and Chief Visionary Officer (CVO) at Assured Quality Homecare (ASQ). As the CVO, Sam is responsible for setting ASQ’s vision, mission, and goals and ensuring that the company is aligned. Sam brings in over 8 years of experience in the Healthcare field and has a Bachelor’s degree in Registered Nursing from the University of Connecticut. In 2016 Samanta, along with her husband Caleb, founded Assured Quality Homecare with a vision of providing high-quality, trained, and compassionate caregivers to the aging community of New London, CT. Samanta and Caleb are raising three beautiful children, and as a mother and woman of faith, you can find Samanta volunteering at her church in her free time.


Leave a Reply

Restricted HTML

Allowed Text Inputs
  • Allowed HTML tags: <a href hreflang> <em> <strong> <cite> <blockquote cite> <code> <ul type> <ol start type> <li> <dl> <dt> <dd> <h2 id> <h3 id> <h4 id> <h5 id> <h6 id>
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.
  • Web page addresses and email addresses turn into links automatically.