How to Have a Dementia-Friendly Christmas
Christmas is a wonderful time of year, full of friends, family, and festivities. But for someone living with dementia, the festive season can pose a few challenges.
So, here are a few tips to make your Christmas celebrations dementia friendly and fun for the whole family.
TAKE IT SLOW
We all love to decorate during Christmastime. We cover the house with lights, bring out the tinsel, and have tonnes of fun decorating the Christmas tree. However, such a drastic change in environment could be confusing for someone with dementia.
To give your loved one time to get used to the change, try to incorporate Christmas decorations gradually during December. Maybe one day you could clear a space for the tree. Then in a few days, put the tree up, but don’t decorate it. Then, once your loved one is used to the tree, get them involved in hanging ornaments and wrapping the tinsel. Either way, take it slow when making any changes to your loved one’s environment this festive season.
MAKE FESTIVITIES VALUABLE
If your loved one struggles with memory, help them reminisce and recall some happy festive memories this Christmas. Pop on a Christmas movie they used to love, sing some familiar carols, and bring out the photo albums. Not only will reminiscing help your loved one get involved in the Christmas fun, but it can strengthen memory recall and cognitive function, too!
CREATE A SAFE SPACE
Our homes often become a bustling ball of festivities on Christmas day. The grandkids are running around the backyard, food is cooking, tunes are playing, and presents are being unwrapped. To help your loved one enjoy the hustle and bustle on their terms, try creating a safe, quiet space for them to unwind when needed. This space could be a bedroom at the other end of the house, a comfortable spot in the backyard, or even a cosy chair in the corner of the lounge room. This way, your loved one can take time out if they’re feeling overwhelmed, but won’t have to miss out altogether.
It’s important to be flexible when celebrating Christmas with a loved one who has dementia. Although your loved one might express excitement leading up to the big day, they may become overwhelmed when the time comes, and prefer not to be involved. Traditions may need to be altered to suit your loved one—and that’s okay! Everyone should have a chance to enjoy the festive season in a way that suits them.
If you need some help this holiday season, After-Care is here. We offer a flexible range of in home care services, including domestic care, personal care, transport, and more! Click here to learn more and contact us today.