Christmas – the most wonderful time of the year can also be quite daunting for those living with dementia. Despite being a time for celebration and togetherness, the festive period can feel lonely for some people; particularly those that require dementia care.
If you’re looking after somebody with dementia this winter it’s important you consider the additional challenges you may face, as well as how you can manage these at home, or with elderly care services for a successful and happy Christmas.
How to provide dementia care to your loved one during the festive season:
Keep familiar routines
As with any extended period, the Christmas break can disrupt your usual routine. This can be hard to cope with for those living with dementia – keeping a routine will help your loved one to feel reassured, as well as ease them into the new situation.
Remember, those who require dementia care are more sensitive to disturbances. So, as Christmas edges closer and closer, remember to keep your loved one’s needs in mind. Try to structure their days into manageable chunks, and factor in quiet times so they can sleep and enjoy peace without being overwhelmed.
Gradually put up the Christmas decorations
Familiar surroundings can make a person living with dementia feel comfortable and at home, even if they’re struggling with their memory. Suddenly changing their environment with bright, loud, or flashing Christmas decorations will likely make them feel confused and out of place.
Discover our top tips on helping someone with dementia feel comfortable with changes to the home:
- Keep them involved with decorating. Involving your loved one can help to create a connection and sense of familiarity with the changes.
- Gradually put up Christmas decorations – sudden changes are likely to disorientate and upset someone living with dementia, especially when it’s their home and safe space that is causing these concerns. Spreading this process out over a few days or weeks should reduce their panic and help them to feel comfortable with the changes.
- Use music the power of music. During the festive period, traditional songs and Christmas classics can create feelings of nostalgia and get us in the spirit of the season. Quietly playing familiar songs can help those with dementia feel more settled.
Keep everyone involved
Dementia care over Christmas will require the support of friends, family, and professional carers if necessary. It’s important that you remain open and honest – this will help to prepare everyone who is visiting over Christmas, and ensure they take your loved ones needs into consideration.
Depending on the number of guests you have, you may want to consider spreading visits out to avoid a loud, busy environment and help keep your loved one at ease.
When providing dementia care, remember they may struggle to carry conversations on their own. Make sure they don’t feel excluded – involve them with games and conversations and ask them to help with familiar tasks if possible.
How to cope with providing dementia care over Christmas
Christmas can be just as stressful for carers as it is for those with dementia. If you provide dementia care to a friend or family member it’s crucial that you take time for your own wellbeing.
Remember, to enjoy yourself and connect with others. It’s okay to ask for help and accept support from others – for an extra pair of hands to help with dementia care this Christmas speak with the team at Verina Daly Care.
Professional carers for the elderly and those who require dementia care can be a huge help to your loved one, friends, and family – particularly during the festive season.
A helping hand will ensure you, the primary caregiver, has enough time to rest, provide support, and manage other areas of your life. Too much stress, lack of sleep, and overworking yourself can be detrimental to both your mental and physical health.
Professional respite care from at-home carers for the elderly, allows you to take a well-needed break while your loved one is in the safe hands of a trained expert who understands how to support their needs the right way.