Nurturing Life's Ageless Spirit.

Tips for a Successful Holiday Visit With Memory Care Residents


Family, friends, laughter, and cheer—that’s what the holidays are all about. While this time of year is a great time to gather and be merry, it can also be a challenging time for loved ones suffering from dementia or other memory concerns. By devising a plan and adjusting your expectations, you can create a positive holiday experience with these tips:

  • Limit The Crowd: Large groups of people can be overwhelming. By limiting the number of visitors to 3-5 people, it’s easier for your loved one to keep up with conversations. If you have a large family, take turns and arrange the visits to happen on different days.
  • Keep It Simple: Residents suffering from memory loss can be easily frustrated. Try not to engage in activities that may take a lot of steps or can be overly complicated. It’s important that you keep the environment calm and comfortable. 
  • Keep The Conversation Flowing: Observe your surroundings and comment about what you see in the room or the environment around you. If you feel like reminiscing about the past, bring a photo album so you can look at the pictures together. 
  • Be Present: Get rid of distractions. Turn off the TV, put down your phone, and be in the moment.
  • Be Flexible: Things rarely go as planned. Depending on your loved one’s day, mood, or level of ability, it’s important to be able to adjust your plans. 
  • Be Inclusive: Your loved one matters and it’s important that he feels that way. Being inclusive doesn’t have to be a big production. It can be as simple as including your loved one in the conversation, a gentle touch, or reassuring word. 
  • Don’t Take Things Personally: Lashing out can happen when memory care residents feel overwhelmingly confused or frustrated. It’s easy to get offended, but don’t take things personally. Instead, be patient and comfort your loved one the best you can. Communicate how important he is to you and let him know you are there for him.

Ensuring Successful Memory Care

At Catholic Eldercare, we understand the challenges of elders suffering from dementia or other memory concerns. Our memory care staff work to create a stimulating, accepting environment that feels like home and prizes dignity above all, where each resident is valued and cared for as individuals. To learn more about our communities, please contact Robin Haenze at rhaenze@catholiceldercare.org or 612-605-2515.