Father's Day celebrations for dads living with Alzheimer's can be bittersweet and challenging for families even under the best of circumstances, but the current COVID-19 crisis is adding new complexities that can feel overwhelming. To help families impacted by Alzheimer's navigate these challenges and provide a meaningful and enjoyable occasion, the Alzheimer's Association is offering tips to help families plan appropriately for both in-person or virtual celebrations.
Tips for in-person Father's Day celebrations:
- Take a person-centered approach. Focus on what is enjoyable for the person with Alzheimer's, such as looking at family pictures or enjoying the person's favorite food. If they get overwhelmed in large groups, a small quiet gathering may be preferable.
- Keep it simple. Consider a celebration over lunch or brunch at home or where the person is most comfortable. Ask family or friends to bring dishes for a potluck meal or have food delivered by a local restaurant or grocery store.
- Don't overdo it. Sticking to the person's normal routine will help keep the day from becoming disruptive or confusing. Depending on the person's stamina, plan time for breaks so the person can rest in a quiet area away from noise and crowds.
Tips for virtual Father's Day celebrations:
- Connect with dad virtually. Schedule a FaceTime, Skype or Zoom call with dad and invite other family members to participate. Prepare ahead of time to ensure the platform you use is one your dad can access easily. Consider taking the call to the next level by adding a slideshow with cherished family photos.
- Get a meal "to-go". While taking dad to his favorite restaurant may not be an option this year, consider having it delivered.
- Clean up the yard. If dad is still living at home but cannot host large family gatherings this year, consider organizing family members to do yard work or other outdoor cleaning activities for him. Doing so allows families to gather while practicing social distancing.