At ADSS we have years of experience supporting people living with dementia through all sorts of events. Our team share with you their top tips for how to cope during Christmas if you are living with dementia or caring for someone who does.
Here are our Dementia Coordinators 8 top tips for a dementia-friendly Christmas:
- Plan ahead
Ensure you have collected prescriptions and have enough medication for the Christmas and New Year period.
- Virtual services
Attending a religious service at a place of worship may be difficult, find out if you can attend virtually or have a friend/family member support you to attend in person. If you want to go on your own, try and arrange for someone to be with your loved one whilst you attend the service.
- Bring back old memories
Prepare an activity box with items your loved one recognises, have conversations, and reminisce.
- Have a small and intimate gathering
Consider having smaller gatherings and ask friends and family to visit you at your house so your loved one is in familiar surroundings.
- Food intake
Think about your loved one’s appetite – consider having smaller servings, textures of foods they may not eat often. A full plate of food may be overwhelming for a person living with dementia. Try not to overload their plate.
- Encourage family and friends with ways to communicate
Remind friends and family who you may see on how to communicate with your loved one.
- Create a quiet area
Set aside a quiet space for your loved one if they get unsettled in crowded environments. Be aware of over stimulation with noise and visuals such as flashing Christmas lights.
- Get them involved
Plan tasks with your loved one, keep them involved with Christmassy tasks i.e. dressing the tree, laying the table on Christmas Day, playing games, wrapping presents, or writing Christmas cards. If your loved one struggles with tasks, encourage them to sit or just be with you whilst you complete them, tell them what you are doing.
We hope these tips are useful. Overall, try not to become too overwhelmed. You’ve got this.
From all of us at ADSS, we wish you a merry Christmas and a happy new year!