How to support a person to live well with dementia at Christmas
Christmas means many things to many people—typically a time for food, family and festivities. But for people living with dementia it can be more difficult. Here are 7 tips from the Alzheimer’s Society on ways to help someone living with dementia over the festive period. If you’re looking for advice and care options, contact us to see how we can help you and our family.
1. Put decorations up gradually
Introduce the Christmas environment slowly. Think about putting decorations up gradually over a few days so it doesn’t come as a big change to the person’s usual setting.
2. Keep it simple and familiar
Someone with dementia may feel overwhelmed over the Christmas period, so it's best not to overdo it. Keeping the day's activities low-key will help your loved one to relax.
Sticking to a familiar routine is also a good idea where possible. Having meals at regular times and in familiar surroundings will help to limit any potential confusion.
3. Get everyone involved
There are many ways to involve people living with dementia at Christmas time – from something as simple as hanging a bauble on the tree to doing a spot of Christmas shopping. The important thing is that they feel included.
4. Create a quiet room
A large number of guests can be overwhelming, so ask family and friends to spread out their visits over the festive period. If things do get busy, designate one room in your house a ‘quiet room’ where your loved one can relax without loud noise.
5. Bring back old memories
Whether it’s an old song they used to enjoy or a classic Christmas film, find something fun you can take part in. Making a family photo album or memory box could be a nice way to spend time together.
6. Be mindful of food
Although many people eat a lot at Christmas, a full plate can be daunting for someone who has difficulties eating. If you're doing the serving, try not to overload your loved one’s plate. People with dementia can experience changes in how much food they eat and when and what food they prefer.
7. Be flexible
It’s easy to get caught up in Christmas traditions, but your festive season might begin to look different as dementia progresses. It's always worth having a plan B, and be prepared to change your plans if a particular element isn't working.
To find out more about our dementia care and unique award winning training click here.
If you'd like to enquire about a short stay with us this festive season then just find your nearest home and either give them a call or fill in the enquiry form. A member of the team will get back to you shortly and get things started.