Caregiver Hollywood, FL
The summer months have returned which means it is time to start thinking about…Halloween? It may seem like the stream of holidays that will occur between October and December are so far away they do not even need consideration right now, but the truth is that retailers have been thinking about the holidays for quite some time already. New Halloween products are already being announced and will soon line the shelves in many stores. Within just a few weeks, well before your memories of the Fourth of July have faded, Christmas ornaments and trees will start to creep onto displays. While this might just be something that you barely register if you are not looking for these particular products, it can be extremely confusing for an elderly adult who is coping with cognitive challenges.
Cognitive challenges such as those associated with Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia can make it extremely confusing for your parent to encounter holiday displays during the summer months. This is especially true if you happen to go to one of the variety home décor stores that tend to have both Halloween and Christmas items up at the same time, sometimes in the same area. This can cause your parent to feel confused and out of control, creating anxiety and possibly leading to negative reactions such as combative behaviors.
As a caregiver use these tips to help your parent with cognitive challenges navigate early holiday displays throughout the summer months:
• Talk to management. If there are new stores in your area or you are considering visiting stores that you are not familiar with, talk to management about their holiday displays. Explain the situation and ask when they anticipate having Halloween items on display, and then when they intend on introducing Christmas items. Do not expect any details about what types of products they will have, but they may be able to give you a basic idea about when these items may arrive.
• Check ahead of time. If you have not been able to confirm these details with management or they only gave you a basic time frame, go for a visit to the store before bringing your parent. Review where the holiday displays are and figure out if there are other routes that you can take through the store to get to the place that you need to be. You may not be able to avoid all of the displays, but you can reduce the chances that your parent will find themselves in the confusing situation of being surrounded by holiday displays in the middle of summer.
• Talk about it. If you cannot avoid the displays, or you find yourself in a store with them that you did not expect, be prepared to confront the situation. Do not talk about it in terms of knowing that it is confusing or upsetting your parent. Instead, confirm that it is not the appropriate season for those items in a casual way that will help your parent understand the displays and make them make sense in their perception. For example, try saying, “Are you excited to see the Christmas decorations so early? I am looking forward to building our collection.”