For many of us, Christmas is a fabulous time of year that we really look forward to; spending time with family and friends, eating lots, celebrating and enjoying the festivities!
However, for those affected by Dementia, whether that be those living with Dementia, their loved ones or carers, Christmas can be a difficult time.
So, what can we do to encourage a Dementia-Friendly Christmas?
We all love feeling that sense of inclusion and belonging, this is no different for those living with Dementia!
There is always something that those living with dementia can be included with, family games, helping to decorate the tree or the Christmas cake, perhaps even help with the table setting.
Getting involved with Christmas activities is fun at any age, from decorating Christmas cards and decorations, through to baking, cooking and festive games.
Perhaps you could even look back at past Christmas’ with your loved ones and reminisce on their memories from times gone by.
Gradual change is easier to deal with
Keeping an environment familiar for those living with Dementia is extremely important and so if you do want to add some Christmas Decorations, think about doing this gradually, over time so as not to cause any overwhelming feelings.
This can avoid big changes and allow the person living with Dementia to get used to (and enjoy!) the small, gradual changes.
Keeping to a routine is important and can prevent anxiety and frustration.
So, over the christmas period try and keep to as much of the usual routine as possible (such as meal times) and try not to introduce lots of new things at once as this will be overwhelming and the person living with Dementia may struggle to cope.
This may sound like a common-sense approach but with everything else that is going on over the festive period and everything that you have to remember, having enough medication can often slip through the net.
It is so SO important that your loved one has enough medication to see them through the festive period, especially if they are going away or going to stay with family members.
Your loved one’s GP or pharmacist may not be available over the festive period and so having enough medication is imperative.
As much as we all love the festive fun, we can all appreciate some down, or quiet time.
Having a separate room or area that a loved one with Dementia can go to and relax in, to take some time out and unwind, is helpful.
We all appreciate how overwhelming it can be when we are in loud places with lots of people, especially when it is not an everyday occurance, and so allowing a loved one with Dementia the opportunity to take some time out can be extremely beneficial.
Food and Drink
A sudden change to the diet of someone living with Dementia can be overwhelming and also have a negative effect on their digestion and health so it is worthwhile being mindful of this.
It is also important to remember that someone living with Dementia may be overwhelmed when faced with a full plate of food, especially food that they are not used to eating, and so being mindful of what, and how much is put on to their plate can be helpful.
We would love to hear your advice and tips for a Dementia-Friendly Chritsmas! Please drop us a message on Info@DementiaTLC.co.uk or comment below.
Wishing you and your families a FABULOUS FESTIVE SEASON!