At Trinity Homecare, we understand that Christmas can be an extremely difficult and chaotic time, especially for those living with Dementia and their families. When you have a loved one with Dementia, Christmas can pose many challenges, and can very often leave a person feeling overwhelmed.
At Trinity, we have listed a few tips that we hope you will find useful, during this festive period.
Daily routines are extremely helpful for those with Dementia as it allows them to keep calm and focused, less confused and less irritable. Whilst it is tempting to go “all-out” at Christmas, we advise keeping it as simple as possible. For instance, if you usually have Sunday lunch, watching a particular channel on TV, stick to this at Christmas.
You may want to get as many presents out of the way in the morning, especially if you have young children. Doing this means there is less chaos around your loved one when they join you and it allows them to fully relax. Of course, keep a couple of gifts to open in their presence, but not too many that it is overwhelming and they become confused.
For some people with Dementia, time can have a massive impact on their mood. Whilst not everyone will have the same symptoms, it is a known fact that some people with Dementia will get irritable after certain hours. At Christmas, it is very easy to let things overrun and it can be a very exhausting day for any of us. Keep an eye on your loved one and if they are getting a little tired, know when to call it a day.
You may find it really difficult to find a gift suitable for your loved one. Since Dementia is primarily associated with short term memory loss, there is a tendency to forget what has been purchased and a sudden loss of interest. For this reason, we suggest buying something either personable to them or something practical. Here are just a few ideas:
People with dementia are prone to trips and falls, especially in the winter months. Practical shoes are a great gift for someone with Dementia, as it will prevent them from having accidents. You can buy these shoes from most stores. In particular, Clarks Shoes have a great range with grips, in both standard and wide-fit.
Personalised photo gifts are fantastic in helping your loved ones remember the things that are most important to them. These days you can get photo gifts from practically anywhere, with the most popular sites being MoonPig, and NotOnTheHighstreet.
If you are on a tight budget or wish to get creative- why not make your own gift? Create a memory box with a few of their favourite things and pictures of them when they were younger.
We are all guilty of over-indulging at Christmas. For someone with dementia, a large plate of food can be very daunting so consider this when serving up. It may even be worth leaving a Tupperware box beside them to subtly remind them that they do not have to eat it all, if they do not want to.
As usual, it is important to remember that no person with Dementia is the same. Whilst we hope this article helps you, if you are struggling this Christmas, then get in touch to see how we can help you further. Very often, an extra pair of hands can work wonders, especially this time of year.