Approximately 5.5 million people live with dementia in te United States, meaning most people have someone with the disease in their lives. When dealing with dementia, it is important to remember the holidays can add some extra stress.

That added stress doesn't mean the holidays don't have to be more of an issue, but it is something that has to factor into decisions made for holding holiday gatherings.

Caretakers should plan ahead to have activities and events that the person with dementia will enjoy. It is also a good idea to have alternative plans in case people get uncomfortable.

The holidays can be an isolating time for people with dementia so making the effort to include them in celebrations is a great opportunity to keep that feeling at bay.

For those struggling with finding the balance, there is help. The Area Agency on Aging of Western Michigan has some services available to help make the holidays as happy and stress free as possible.