Milestones & Memories

Celebrating July 4th With a Loved One Who Has Dementia

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Making this Independence Day a family event with someone who has Alzheimer's or another form of dementia? Whether you're celebrating big-time or just looking to be quietly festive together on the Fourth, these tips can help:

  • Focus on mood, not memories.

    Being asked about past holidays and if-you-remember-so-and-so can be stressful for someone with memory problems. Don't cling too tightly to the way you've always done things in the past or expect your loved one to participate in certain rituals (hanging a flag, making a trademark dessert) just because he or she always has done them.

    Instead, put your energy into creating a happy, positive mood. For those with dementia, the positive emotions of a good mood usually linger long after the event itself is forgotten. Remain unstressed and unhurried yourself. Keep the atmosphere low-key and avoid chaos. Try to preserve your loved one'