If you're planning a holiday family get-together, and you're the caregiver of a family member who suffers from Alzheimer's, you need to take some special precautions. Large gatherings can be particularly stressful for Alzheimer's patients. Noise and overstimulation can lead to agitation. Here are four steps you can take to create a peaceful environment for your loved one with Alzheimer's.

Prepare Your Loved One in Advance

If your loved one no longer remembers friends and family members who will be in attendance, it's a good idea to help them prepare in advance. Sit down with your loved one and show them pictures of the people who will be at the get-together. Be sure to attach a name to each face. Showing pictures will allow your loved one to prepare for the people they'll be meeting. If your loved one seems to recognize some of the pictures, provide some additional information about them – such as how they know them.

Update Family Members

Alzheimer's is an ever-changing condition. That means that behavior, memories, and other cognitive abilities can change on a day-to-day basis. Before the get-together, give family members a briefing of how your loved one is doing – including levels of memories, state of agitation, etc. If those conditions change prior to the get-together, be sure to provide a brief update as guests arrive. This is particularly important if some family members have not been present for some of the changes that have occurred.

Set Up a Safe Room

As stated earlier, overstimulation can cause agitation in Alzheimer's patients. If your loved one is not used to being in large groups, or in unfamiliar surroundings, be sure to set up a safe room for them. This room should be far enough away from the festivities that your loved one can be get away from the noise and confusion. If your loved one has a favorite style of music, be sure to have that playing in the room. If they have a blanket, or other item, that provides them with a sense of security, make sure that item is in the safe room for them.

Arrange for Assistance

When caring for someone with Alzheimer's, it's a good idea to have help available. To make sure your loved one receives the care they need throughout the festivities, arrange to have professional assistance on hand. In-home nursing services will provide you with the help you need for your loved one.

For more information about Alzheimer's care, contact your local nursing home or general physician.