Christmas can be a difficult time for those suffering with Dementia. Changes to a regular routine, as well as having to cope with being around large groups of people, can make those with the condition feel afraid and stressed. Dementia Specialist Lindsey Edgehill recommends families take the following steps to help their loved one feel safe and happy at Christmas.
- Reduce clutter on the Christmas dinner table as it can cause vision problems, making it difficult to spot objects on pattered festive table cloths. A plain cloth and plain plates with a contrasting edge can help to make it easier.
- Covering up patterned and shiny floors will also help greatly.
- Have a quiet room. Everyone knows Christmas can be overwhelming – even more so for people with Dementia. A quiet room in the house will give them somewhere to take a few minutes to relax and calm down until they’re ready to re-join the festivities.
- Close the curtains as soon as it becomes dark. Reflections in windows can be intimidating for those with Dementia, so draw the curtains as soon as it gets dark to avoid this. Mirrors can also be taken down or covered up to reduce reflections around the home.
- Try not to break from routine too much. Changes to a regular routine can be the hardest thing about the festive season for a person with Dementia. Bringing reassuring items from your loved one’s home – such as a favourite mug or cushion – can help them settle in their new surroundings.
- Music is also incredibly important in Dementia care and playing nostalgic carols can bring back fond memories of Christmases gone by.
- Settle them back in at home. When you drop your loved one back at their own home, it’s possible that after a few days away their own house will feel unfamiliar. Allow an afternoon to spend settling them back in and familiarising themselves with their surroundings.
Fambridge Care works with people with Dementia and their families by offering a range of hourly visiting care and live-in care services focused on allowing people to stay in their own home and continue to live independent lives. For more information on our services, give us a call for a chat on 01245 356592.