Dementia New Zealand have shared some tips and advice for supporting loved ones with Dementia over the Christmas period.
1. Introduce the Christmas environment slowly
Think about putting decorations up gradually over a few days so it doesn’t come as a big change to the person’s usual setting.
2. Keep it simple and familiar
Someone living with dementia may feel overwhelmed over the Christmas period, so it’s best not to overdo it.
- Keeping the day’s activities low-key will help your loved one to relax
- Sticking to a familiar routine is also a good idea where possible
- Having meals at regular times and in familiar surroundings will help to limit any potential confusion.
3. Get everyone involved
There are many ways to involve people living with dementia at Christmas time – from something as simple as hanging a bauble on the tree to doing a spot of Christmas shopping. The important thing is that they feel included.
4. Create a quiet room
A large number of guests can be overwhelming, so ask family and friends to spread out their visits over the festive period. If things do get busy, designate one room in your house a ‘quiet room’ where your loved one can relax without loud noise.
5. Bring back old memories
Whether it’s an old song they used to enjoy or a classic Christmas film, find something fun you can take part in. Making a family photo album or memory box could be a nice way to spend time together.
6. Be mindful of food
Although many people eat a lot at Christmas, a full plate can be daunting for someone who has difficulties eating. If you’re doing the serving, try not to overload your loved one’s plate.
7. Be flexible
It’s easy to get caught up in Christmas traditions, but your festive season might begin to look different as dementia progresses. It’s always worth having a plan B, and be prepared to change your plans if a particular element isn’t working.
More information about Dementia Waikato
Dementia Waikato is a charitable trust providing free services to support individuals with a dementia diagnosis, their families and care partners.
To contact the Coromandel Peninsula Dementia Advisor and for more information about Dementia Waikato see the related link below.