The holidays are a traditional time of making memories and treasuring time with family. But it can also be a time of lost memories and stress for families that are coping with a loved one suffering from dementia.

Juliette Bradley, Executive Director with the Alzheimer’s Association in Kansas, says families often need help with planning for the holidays while caring for  a loved one facing Alzheimer’s or other dementia. 

Here are 10 tips for caregivers  she offered to make the best of the occasion with the least amount of stress.

  1. Make sure family members understand your situation and set realistic expectations about what you can and cannot do.
  2. Do only what you can reasonably manage and give yourself permission to say no. 
  3. Scale back on shopping and gift giving. 
  4. Decide which traditions are most important to you and which you can live without.
  5. Try to maintain as regular a routine as possible. 
  6. Prepare your loved one for the upcoming holiday events by talking about and showing photos of the family members and friends who will be visiting.
  7. Attend an Alzheimer’s support group. Call the Association’s hotline at (800) 272-3900 if you  feel overwhelmed.
  8. Maintain your health. If you don’t care for yourself, you won’t be able to care for anyone else.
  9. Simplify decorating. It is time consuming for you and can be confusing or unsafe for the patients.
  10. Plan for post-holiday let down after  guests have gone home. Arrange for in-home care so that you can enjoy a movie or lunch with a friend and reduce some of the loneliness you may feel.

CareTEXT gives support to dementia caregivers in KCMO  

CareText is a program providing support to caregivers of people with dementia through text messages at no cost.  The program is available to individuals 18-years-old or older, who have inactive cell phones to receive text messages, and live in either Cass, Clay, Jackson, Platte or Ray counties in Missouri. 

The six-month program is designed to help caregivers improve their skills in taking care of themselves and their loved ones.   Participants will get tips and strategies to relax, get active and make your home safer and improve your skills in taking care of yourself and your loved one.   

To take advantage of the program call 913.588.1851, email or visit