To decrease distress and prepare for the holidays, Teepa Snow, a renowned occupational therapist, recommends a dementia caregiving check-in. Snow is also an advocate for those living with dementia and owns a company called Positive Approach to Care. She recommends touching base with commitments, support systems, and assessing how YOU and your loved one with dementia is doing.

Snow stresses the importance of reviewing and reassessing expectations with reality. She also encourages estimating time and energy use before planning holiday traditions and events. Such planning allows for appropriate changes or modifications to help maximize a better, safer, more enjoyable holiday. On her website, Snow recommends sitting down with a friend, family member, or caregiving team member to help you better assess the caregiving situation and embrace a special time. She says you should include your loved one living with dementia in the assessment experience.

Her five questions help you evaluate the situation in the moment. She provides tips to create options and opportunities. She grants permission to do less and like more. She encourages you to let go of what is not working and enjoy what is possible versus enduring, giving up, or grieving loss. To access Snow’s holiday assessment and thought-provoking tips for dementia caregivers, go to

Snow will be hosting the UK Work Life Senior Care Conference on Nov. 5. County Extension offices will schedule watch parties. For more information, contact your local Extension FCS agent.

Source: Amy F. Kostelic, Associate Extension Professor, Adult Development and Aging

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