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    Judith L London, PhD posted:
    Hi Everyone,

    Soon it will be Thanksgiving. If you are planning to include your loved one in a Thanksgiving celebration, let her know now so you can talk about past Thanksgiving dinners. If she can still participate in the preparations, find something easy for her to do. Alert your guests to converse with her and include her or him in the festivities. Watch for overstimulation. These are some of the ideas I have. Does anyone have some Thanksgiving experiences or issues to share?

    Love to hear from you,
    Byroney_WebMD_Staff responded:
    Hello Judy and thanks for the wonderful suggestions. When my grandmother had Alzheimer's, she liked to set the table so one of us grandchildren would help her with that. It always took a long time and gave her a chance to be busy and useful. In the end the table would look beautiful, even if she didn't remember why we had the special silver and plates out.

    I posted in another thread that the care facility my MIL (mother-in-law) was in when she had Alzheimer's had the most beautiful Thanksgiving dinners. We were very fortunate to share two there with her, complete with white tablecloths, handsome silverware and goblets (not crystal, but very tastefully done) and good food. She had regular hair salon visits and the staff always made sure she (and everyone else) always looked their best. She was never sure who we were, but we followed her conversational lead and had a nice time.

    I was fortunate to have some very special Thanksgivings with both family members who had Alzheimer's.

    Life isn't a matter of milestones but of moments. - Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy
    cjh1203 responded:
    I missed my uncle's last Thanksgiving, last year, because my husband and I were with his sister in NC, but my aunt and uncle had come to my mom's to have Thanksgiving with us for years and years.

    The previous year, he didn't even want to sit at the big table, so Mom set a table for four outside by the pool (Florida, remember!), and he was very happy to be there. We brought him food, but if we brought him something he didn't like, he got very upset and we had to take it away!

    Everyone talked to him about the past, and he enjoyed that very much. He had much better recall about names and events than most of the rest of us.

    The second he was finished eating, my aunt had to take him home -- that's how it was with restaurants, too. He always seemed to have a good time but, as you mentioned, Judy, being around that many people was just too much stimulation for him.

    Byroney, I think it's really sweet that your grandmother took such pride in setting a beautiful table, even if she couldn't remember why. And the facility your MIL was in sounds wonderful -- Thanksgiving must have been a special day for the people who lived there.


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