Summer is a time during which many families gather for cookouts, picnics and other outdoor fun.
These times can be joyous occasions for many families, but they can be challenging for the millions of people living with Alzheimer’s disease and dementia.
Today, there are 5.7 million Americans living with Alzheimer’s, including 71,000 in Kentucky, and more than 15 million people caring for someone living with the disease.

Caregivers, including relatives and friends, may be unsure of how to incorporate someone with dementia into these summer traditions and celebrations. However, the Alzheimer’s Association tells families that with some planning and adjusted expectations, these events can still be happy and memorable for everyone.

A few tips from the Association include:

Make sure others know: If events include extended families and friends who you do not see often, consider letting these guests know in advance what to expect and tell them how they can help. For example, what activities can they do with the person with Alzheimer’s or how best to communicate with them. “Cross talk” or simultaneous conversations can be challenging for people living with Alzheimer’s – try engaging them one-on-one.

Involve the person living with Alzheimer’s: Depending on abilities and preferences, make sure to keep the person with Alzheimer’s involved during the celebration, engage them in activities and conversations – avoid isolating them.

Plan ahead: When attending a summer celebration or gathering, prepare the host for special needs, such as a quiet room for the person to rest when they get tired, away from the noise and distractions.

For additional tips on caregiving and living with Alzheimer’s disease, visit ALZ.org.