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Creating a Comfortable Christmas for Loved Ones Living with Dementia

Christmas is a special time of year; however the festive season can be overwhelming for those living with dementia. This joyful time of year brings with it lots of bright lights and noise which can be disorientating or upsetting. If you have a relative with dementia there are several things you can do to create a more peaceful environment for all.

We’ve put together some tips to help someone with dementia enjoy the festivities this year:

Take it easy on the decorating:

For those with dementia, the sudden change to their surroundings can be confusing so try to introduce Christmas decorations gradually. Make small changes such as putting up the tree one day, then add the lights and ornaments the next but don’t forget to include your loved one – even if it’s hanging a single bauble – be sure to include them in preparations. This gives the person living with dementia time to adjust, but it’s a good idea to make sure there is at least one calm and quiet space without flashing lights or bright colours for your loved one to rest.

Family and friends:

Crowded rooms with lots of people, different conversations and excitable children can cause agitation. If you have a family member with dementia staying with you over the festive period, consider whether a large family celebration might be too much for them. Another option if you are having people round is to create a safe, quiet space for someone living with dementia to relax in if the noise and excitement gets too much.

Bring back old memories:

Christmas is all about being together, enjoying each other’s company and making memories. Listening to classic Christmas songs, making a family photo album or asking them about their childhood Christmases can cheer up people living with dementia and get them in the festive spirit.

Don’t overload their plate:

Too much food can be overwhelming for those with dementia and smaller snacks, more often, is better than a full meal. Dementia patients can find that their tastes, their likes and dislikes, change over time and so don’t stress or take offence if your turkey or Christmas cake is suddenly unappetising to them.

Be flexible:

It’s important not to have too many expectations and to be flexible with plans. The most important thing is that the person feels safe, secure and happy in that moment. Don’t be disheartened if they don’t remember what they did, they may well remember that they felt happy!

Plan ahead:

When preparing for Christmas with a loved one living with dementia, include them in the planning process. Try to make sure that they are aware of what has been planned and that they’re happy with it. However, exercise caution and avoid overwhelming them with an abundance of choices or expectations, as this can be distressing. It's about finding a balance that ensures their participation while respecting their limitations.

While these tips aim to enhance your festive experience, we understand the challenges involved. At Nurseplus Care at home, we provide compassionate care, tailored to the unique needs of individuals living with dementia.

Our dedicated team is here to offer support, allowing your loved ones to embrace the joy of the season in a secure and comforting setting. Explore our care options to ensure a warm and memorable Christmas for everyone involved.

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Posted-on December 07, 2023 By Nurseplus Care at home