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Navigating Alzheimer’s this Holiday Season

mother, son and grandfather at a table stress of alzheimer hollidays

While holidays can be a joyous time for many families, they can be challenging for families affected by Alzheimer’s and other dementias. COVID-19 has added even more complexities that can feel overwhelming for many families impacted by Alzheimer’s.

The Alzheimer’s Association is ready to serve those impacted by dementia no matter when the need may arise.

“With the holidays upon us, we are raising awareness about the unique challenges caregivers face,” said Katherine L. Lambert, CEO of the Alzheimer’s Association - Western Carolina Chapter. “We want to help the 358,000 family members and friends across North Carolina who are currently caring for a person living with Alzheimer’s or another form of dementia to navigate these challenges and provide a meaningful and enjoyable occasion for their families.”

The following are tips from the Alzheimer’s Association to help families plan appropriately for both in-person or virtual celebrations.

Celebrate smart. Celebrate safe. Consider smaller gatherings and encourage attendees to follow safety protocols during the celebration.

Take a person-centered approach. Focus on what is enjoyable for the person living with Alzheimer’s and involve them in the celebration depending on their abilities or preferences.

Keep it simple. Stick to the person’s normal routine and consider a celebration over a lunch or brunch at home or where the person is most comfortable.

Adapt gift giving. Encourage safe and useful gifts for the person living with Alzheimer’s.

If an in-person visit is not an option with your loved one, connect with them virtually, as well as prepare their favorite holiday meal or dessert and drop it off or have it delivered.

older couple walking together outside alzheimer's holiday dementia

Additionally, the Alzheimer’s Association in North Carolina is offering a free virtual educational opportunities for Asheville area residents like our “Caregiving During the Holidays” program and caregiver support groups. For a complete list of upcoming monthly programs or to access other resources available to area residents, visit or call 800-272-3900.

Programs, research and awareness are funded by through Alzheimer’s Association events like Walk to End Alzheimer’s –Asheville. Donations are still being accepted through Dec. 31 to help the Association reach its $115,000 goal at


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