How To Celebrate Christmas With Dementia
Whether this is the first year you will be celebrating Christmas with a loved one who is living with dementia, or the 10th year, it’s never easy. And no two years will be the same. So how can you best prepare for Christmas to make it easier on them?
Celebrating In Care
Celebrating Christmas in care when living with dementia can be somewhat difficult for both the individual and their families.
For the individual, they are in an unusual setting, and whilst they may have lived in the home for a number of years, they may not still feel like it is home when it comes to Christmas. Here at Lovett Care Homes, we do our best to ensure that the whole Christmas period is as easy on our residents as possible. This can include slowly introducing decorations to our homes so as not to impact their surroundings too much in one go.
We also try to ensure that each home has a space free from decorations so that if it all gets a bit too much, our residents have a breakaway place to relax.
There are a number of ways that you can help your loved one to celebrate, despite them living in care. Firstly, the decorations that they may have had in their own home, why not bring some pieces in to decorate their bedroom? It can give them a sense of being home.
You can also include them in Christmas cards. While they may not be able to sign every card themselves, a great alternative is to get them to sign on a piece of paper and get this copied onto stickers. They can then help you attach stickers to the cards, which is still keeping them involved.
Another way to keep them involved is with the Christmas shopping. While it may not be possible for them to get out and about, bringing a tablet or laptop with a nice big screen to show them some shopping online can help them to get involved. However, doing this in short bursts is ideal if they are not used to the technology.
Celebrating At Home
When celebrating at home with your loved one, it is important not to overwhelm them. If they live with you full time, slowly introduce decorations. If they live with us full time and are coming home for Christmas, try not to go too overboard with the decorations and ensure that there is a breakaway space that they can go to if they are overwhelmed.
Remember to keep it simple. This includes food and activities too. Try not to overload the plate. Smaller portions can help them feel not so overwhelmed, they can always have seconds if needs be, but they are probably already eating smaller portions anyway.
Where activities are concerned, you can always ask one of the Lovett Care activities team for any suggestions. They will have a good idea of your loved ones both physical and mental capabilities in order to offer you a more tailored suggestion.
If you have any questions regarding Dementia at Christmas, please make sure you contact your loved ones home directly as they will be able to assist you.
If you have any queries about moving your loved one into residential dementia care please contact the Lovett Care team as they will be able to assist you.