A Dementia Friendly Holiday

by Jennifer Rawlings, VP of Wellness

The hustle and bustle of the holiday season is upon us, and you may be wondering what is it going to be like this year? Will it be “normal?” Will it be different? This is probably true if your family has a loved one living with dementia. One thing is certain, the holidays will still come, and they will still be celebrated.

For many families who have someone living with dementia it can add another layer of anxiety. Within the United States, there are at least 5 million people currently living with age related dementias. To put this into perspective, it’s estimated that one out of every six women and one out of every 10 men, living past the age of 55 will develop dementia. So, the odds are that you know someone living with dementia.

At the end of the day most of us do our very best to make sure all our family and guests are happy and are having an enjoyable time. Here are some helpful tips to welcome loved ones and friends living with dementia this holiday season.

Be Flexible – Go into the holiday season knowing it might look different than you think – be flexible with your plans. Changes may be necessary, have a “Plan B”. If your loved one becomes agitated by large gatherings, have a quiet place you can take your loved one to rest. Maybe have family come a few at a time to talk with them instead of all at once. Give them some space if necessary.

Respect Routine – For some living with dementia the holiday season can be disruptive to their daily routine causing them to be uncomfortable or even act out. Routine is highly important for managing symptoms of dementia and any changes to their daily schedule, seeing unfamiliar faces or being in large groups could upset someone with dementia.

Preparing Family – Talk to your family and guests prior to the gathering. Let others know the ways you have found to have successful interactions.

Other things to discuss might be:

• The stage of dementia and what symptoms they might see.

• The daily routine and why it’s important.

• Being patient during conversations, without correcting or questioning.

• Don’t be offended if he/she forgets you, live in the moment.

• Don’t say “don’t you remember” or “I’ve already told you that.”

If your normal family get-together now looks different, that is ok. There are still ways to enjoy this special time of the year. Just keep it simple. And most important – remember to take time for yourself. The best caregiver is a caregiver who takes care of themselves as well.

Dementia takes different forms for everyone and people living with dementia can thrive with the support of their family and community. Whether they are able to express it or not they are thankful for you as I’m sure you are thankful for them.

Stats from Dementia facts & figures | Alzheimer’s Disease International (ADI) (alzint.org)

Take Control of the Holidays – Over Coming Holiday Stress

by Weldon Tisdale, Trinity Woods Chaplain

Philippians 4: 6 “Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything…” (NLT)

This scripture is direction given from the Apostle Paul for dealing with stressful times and certainly, the holiday season often brings unwelcome guests like, stress and depression. And it’s no wonder. The holidays present a dizzying array of demands — parties, shopping, baking, cleaning and entertaining, to name just a few. At times, holidays will bring back memories of loved ones passed on often adding an additional level of

coping. But with some practical tips, you can minimize the stress that accompanies the holidays. You may even end up enjoying the holidays more than you thought you would.


Acknowledge your feelings. If someone close to you has recently passed or you can’t be with a loved one, realize that it’s normal to feel sadness and grief. It’s okay to take time to cry or express your feelings. You can’t force yourself to be happy just because it’s the holiday season.

Reach out. If you feel lonely or isolated, seek out community, religious events or other social activities. They can off er support and companionship. Volunteering your time to help others also is a good way to lift your spirits and broaden your friendships.

Be realistic. The holidays don’t have to be perfect or just like last year. As families change and grow, traditions and rituals change. Choose a few to hold on to and be open to creating new ones.

Set aside differences. Try to accept family members and friends as they are, even if they don’t live up to all your expectations. Set aside grievances until a more appropriate time for discussion. And be understanding if others get upset or distressed when something goes awry. Off er them “grace” because chances are they’re feeling the effects of holiday stress and depression, too.

Stick to a budget. Before you go gift and food shopping, decide how much money you can afford to spend. Then stick to your budget. Don’t try to buy happiness with an avalanche of gifts.

So, take control of the holidays. Do not allow them to become something you dread. Instead, take steps to prevent the stress and depression that can descend during the holidays. Learn to recognize your holiday triggers so you can combat them before they lead to a meltdown. With a little planning and some positive

thinking, you can fi nd peace and joy during the holidays. And remember, “Do not worry about anything, instead pray about everything.”

Adapted from MayoClinic.org article.

Christmas in the Woods

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas on the campus of Trinity Woods. Lights, holiday programs and of course – Christmas in the Woods! We are excited to bring back this holiday favorite from years past. Mark your calendar for Thursday, December 9th from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. It will be a night of good old fashioned holiday fun.

“I couldn’t be more excited that we are able to host Christmas in the Woods this year,” said Steve Dickie, CEO. “I love this event. It brings community members, their families and Trinity Woods employees together in a way that truly embodies who we are as a community – good friends and caring neighbors.”

After a four year break due to construction and COVID this year is sure to be a night to remember. Christmas in the Woods is a campus-wide celebration for the whole family. In addition to great food at several venues, horse drawn carriage, entertainment and the beautiful living nativity, there will also be a candy shop, photos with Santa Claus and an elf scavenger hunt!

“Everyone talks about how amazing Christmas at the Manor was and how it was the highlight of the season. I am excited to now be part of Christmas in the Woods,” said Jennifer Rawlings, VP of Wellness. “Trinity Woods

community members, families, friends, and employees are all encouraged to attend this event, that is sure to put us in the holiday spirit!” To purchase tickets visit the Crestwood Concierge or Holliman Center Receptionist – ticket prices are $12 members, $15 guests, and $7 children ages 3-12. Children under 3 are free. Tickets may be charged to your member account. For more information call 918.346.6614

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