Caring for people living with dementia at Christmas

PUBLISHED: 9th Dec 2019

  • Keep them involved, it may be help with wrapping presents, putting up some decorations or involvement in preparing the meal or laying the table. Try and keep things as close to the usual routine as possible and introduce the Christmas environment slowly – put decorations up gradually so that it doesn’t come as a big change to the person’s usual setting.
  • If the person living with dementia is taking any medication, ensure they have enough to get through the festive period
  • Create a quiet space – on Christmas Day the house will generally be full of people, which can seem overwhelming. If you have a quiet room this can be really helpful, and if friends and relatives are visiting over the festive period, try to space out the visits
  • Christmas traditions don’t have to be set in stone, but flexibility is key. Sometimes it is important to let go of expectations to ensure that everyone is happy. Help them enjoy the day – however ordinary or special it becomes
  • Keep things as simple as you can – even the Christmas decorations or the Christmas tree can be a source of confusion if your loved one can’t remember that things change over Christmas.
  • Christmas is a time for indulgence, but a full plate can be overwhelming and if your relative gets tired later in the day then you may want to consider eating at lunchtime. This may also be helpful if they are returning back to a home which is better in daylight
  • Bring back some old memories, watch films that the family used to watch and find something fun that they can take part in – video the big day and take photographs to share.
  • If someone can’t remember it’s Christmas, don’t keep reminding them all the time as this can cause anxiety
  • Try not to be disappointed if they show little or no interest in decorations, cards or presents

Also it is important to think about the carers too – take some time out or plan an afternoon or evening away from the family to give yourself a break.

For people living with Dementia, Christmas can be particularly stressful, but the rest of the year can be challenging too.

In Bramhope, we are building a dementia friendly community. Part of this is providing a meeting place for people living with dementia and their carers too.

Our Care for a cuppa café, will take place on the first Tuesday of each month in Bramhope – the first café will take place on March 3rd at 1.30pm. Invitations will be distributed soon, but if you require further information please contact catherinebirkby@outlook.com

Here at David Phillip estate Agents, we are also working to become a dementia friendly environment  for people buying and selling homes . For more details tel 01134 676 400 w:davidphillip.co.uk   

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