Independent People Homecare News

Caring for Someone With Dementia at Christmas

Christmas can cause mixed feelings for those with a loved one living with Dementia. It’s common to experience a sense of loss for the way things used to be and to feel guilty about what we think we should do or how we think we should feel.
At a time when you believe you should be happy, you could instead find that stress, disappointment and sadness prevail. You might also feel pressure to keep up family traditions, despite the demands caring places on your time and energy.
Yet, by adjusting your expectations and modifying some traditions, you can still find meaning and joy for you and your family.

Here are some ideas

Keep it simple at home

Make preparations together. If you bake, your loved one might be able to participate by stirring ingredients or rolling dough. Concentrate on the doing rather than the result.

Tone down your Christmas decorations

Blinking lights and large decorative displays can cause disorientation. Avoid lighted candles and other safety hazards, as well as decorations that could be mistaken for edible treats — such as artificial fruits.

Keep it calm and quiet

Family get-togethers often involve music and loud conversation. Yet for a person who has Dementia, a calm and quiet environment usually is best. Keep daily routines in place as much as possible and provide your loved one a place to rest during family get-togethers.

Celebrate in the most familiar setting.

A change of environment can cause anxiety. To avoid disruption, consider holding a small family celebration at home

Minimise Visitors.

Arrange family members to drop in on different days. Even if your loved one isn’t sure who’s who, two or three familiar faces are likely to be welcome. A large group, however, might be overwhelming.

Schedule visits at your loved one’s best time of day.

Prepare family members. Update them on your loved one’s status ahead of time so they know what to expect.

Delegate

Remember family and friends who’ve offered their assistance. Let them help with cleaning and shopping.

Trust your instincts

You know what’s most likely to agitate or upset them. Resist pressure to celebrate the way others might expect you to. You can’t control the progress of Dementia or protect your loved one from all distress — but by planning and setting firm boundaries you can avoid needless holiday stress and enjoy the Easter festivities!

If you’re considering live in care, our fantastic team of visiting and  live in carers are experienced in understanding the different stages of Dementia and are trained with coping mechanisms to help support individuals and their families.

To find out more how we can help you or a loved one on a short term or long term basis then please call our care team on: 0808 274 8827

Alternatively  download your free Understanding Dementia Guide here.