For most folks (not just those of us with dementia symptoms),
now that the glitz and glitter of holidays have faded,
our spirits have a tendency to sadly sag in these weeks of January.
How do these post-holiday emotions especially effect Persons Living with Dementia (PLwD) ?? What strategies can/do we use??
This is what 20 of my PLwD friends had to say: (alpha-order by given name). i added bold font to strategies, and added some line breaks for clarity.
.Spend time in nature:
“I feed the deer and birds every day.
My mom and aunt both died from Alzheimer’s So that is what it is.”
— Bob Fite on 31Dec2020.
.Search for the Joy in each day:
“I try to find joy in each day, in small ways.
Even if just looking at old photos,
reading something for fun,
eating something good.”
— Cathy Fisher on 31Dec2020.
“2020 has made it easy to believe a better year is to come…
a year of hope for a cure!”
— Cindy Odell on 01Jan2021.
Don’t worry about what people think of you… You’ll forget about them soon enough!
— Daryl Lees on 03Jan2021.
.Breathe with Focus:
“It has it made me sad
has made me very very anxious and my mind is racing.
I have had to medicate a few times and also
practice my breathing and
The world is too crazy for me right now.”
— Donna McKay O’Connor on 31Dec2020.
.Engage with Kindred spirits:
“The Holiday season is winding down and what is in store for me.
I will be thrown back into the world of dementia and all it’s sufferings.
Over the Holidays I was able to
make some contacts with people that share my dreams and
make some plans for the future.
We all agree that programs need to be formed to help us live out our lives in the comforts of our homes.
Our care partners need to know how to better care for us and learn about the benefits that are unknown.”
— Harry Urban 26Dec2018
.Define the challenge:
“… having had cancer my I say had I dont need covid
I have had Dementia 9 years now and im killing it
but with this pandemic its made it worse
just like Dementia and cancer ill kick its ass always’ xxx.”
— Janice Crich on 31Dec2020.
.This too shall pass:
“I TRY TO REMEMBER “THIS TOO SHALL PASS!”
— Joyce Stevens Mullins on 31Dec2020,
.Simplify my Life:
“I have always focused on cleaning and organizing in the new year.
Though the projects are not as big and not always complete last few years I still feel like tackling it this year.
Plan to limit it to clearing out a pantry and organizing a craft area this year.”
— Judy Rogers Brinkley on 31Dec2020.
.Focus on a positive activity:
The decorations are down now and I’ve started giving things away.
— Julia Riley Kupas on 31Dec2020.
.Cherish the Moments:
“It has become abundantly clear to me that for me to continue to find joy in my life, that
I can’t focus on my future (which looks pretty dismal),
but instead focus on the present.
I need to be present and enjoy every day, every minute that I have of good cognition.
I need to cherish the moments I have with my friends and family, the memories I have of days gone by, and the music that fills my life.
Tomorrow is not promised for anyone. Some people are more likely to live longer healthier lives than I am, but I still have a lot of living left to do, and a lot of love to give to family and friends.”
— Kelly (B) on 30Dec2020 at https://kellysalzheimerasblog.net/2020/12/30/looking-forward-to-2021-despite-alzheimers/ .
.Get out – Get active:
Honestly I’m relieved the holidays r over;
I don’t have good memories around any of them- past or even recent past- in prior yrs I just wrk thru them- but I don’t have the distraction of wrkng outside the hm now…
what helps is enjoying fresh air outside & doing dome kind of physical activity/movement every day.
— Lisa Schweiter on 02Jan2021.
.Take time for ME:
“I take time for me
take a tiny nap
work on my book
look at pictures of my grandkids
and just glad I am having a semi good day.”
— Marilyn Augustin on 31Dec2020.
. I don’t always HAVE to be in Control:
“I’m hopeful that 2021 is a new beginning.
I’m feeling rather frustrated with knowing who to trust or confide in.
Who has my back? It’s just a feeling.
But I’m confident that God is in control.
I just have to remind myself I cant make everyone feel the same way I do.”
— Marion James on 31Dec2020.
.Accept Strength from Others:
“Stress and depression over my illness and the whole covid/political coughbullshitcough has made this a rough year.
My family and my faith in the Christ is what helps me hold it together.
Gods will is God’s will.
My wife is my unwavering rock and my youngest son has just been so supportive.”
— Mike Holland on 31Dec2020.
.Be Available and Willing to Reach Out:
just to say will be working at Full throttle from Next Monday January 4th 2021
so if anybody across the world would like to talk via ZOOM re dementia
i am here for you, please let me know,
just got that feeling it’s going to be a great year xxxxxxx.”
— Norman MacNamara on 01Jan2021.
.Look for the Bigger Perspective:
I was allowing too many projects at one time experiencing too much self imposed stress and worst of all by the end of the year I was spending less time with God each day. .
I am already taking a few steps back to allow me to enjoy many more long moments of Joy each day and savoring them more. All that works to make this the best season of my 80 years.
— Robert Jenkins on 03Jan2021.
.Share and Encourage:
I must admit 2021 was one of the most vigorous work outs of living with this disease like every day trying to maintain… throw in some unforeseen things too. Oh my… but
whenever I feel myself about to take a dive,…especially when the last death was one of my grandboys (dog) that was a blow because they walked with me each day..and like talking buddies or talking kids that could not talk… but they were always there right by my side
but in summary I had to
share my tears get it all out and zap back into a happy state of mind By
being grateful …that I’m still alive and I can still write..my
writing and uplifting others keeps me grounded and
allow the sorrow in me to washout
..listening to music and singing helps me too .
— Terry Montgomery on 03Jan2021.
.Focus on the Basics:
“I take extra time to have Me-Time.
To surround myself with simple things I love – TV / book catch up – walking on the beach with the dogs / literally taking time to smell the roses and other flowers.
– bloody isolating dementia.
Between Xmas and New Year is REST time before all the frenetic Dementia Advocacy via Zoom starts again. Hugs ”
— Valerie Schache on 31Dec2020.
.Develop strategies for consistency and stability:
I love the holiday period over Christmas and the new year.
obviously, it was so much better when i had children around and also better before this year when able to share with others in person rather than just online but i made the most of it and had good shared times on video with friends far and near.
But dementia symptoms and the huge need for consistency and stability get destroyed by all usual patterns being disrupted for special days and times.
it is draining so a welcome relief when January is underway properly by the second week and schedules return to usual!
— Wayne Eaton on 02Jan2021.
So in summary, some suggestions from above are
Spend time in nature, Search for the Joy in each day, Hope, Don’t worry, Breathe with Focus, Engage with Kindred spirits, Define the challenge, Remember this too shall pass, Simplify my life, Focus on a positive activity, Cherish the moments, Get out – Get active, Take time for ME, I don’t have to be in Control, Accept strength from Others, Be Available and willing to Reach Out, Look for the Bigger Perspective, Share and Encourage, Focus on the Basics, Develop strategies for consistency and stability.
… GREAT ideas from Persons Living with Dementia.
This is better than any self-help book, and it came from US !!! ((smile))
Pages from Other Persons with Dementia on my webspace are indexed here >> https://truthfulkindness.com/index-persons-with-dementia-pwd/ .
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