Wendover Dementia Support – December 2021

Christmas can be a difficult time for someone living with dementia. The home environment can change with furniture moved, flashing Christmas tree lights and candles. In addition, their normal daily routine may change. They may be asked to go and stay the night away with family or be asked to take part on a big Christmas day lunch in another house. Even if these are avoided, it is likely that their normal routine of meals will be disrupted to accommodate visitors and a Christmas turkey.

Therefore, it is important to review all the arrangements for Christmas and look at them through a new perspective. The best thing you can do for a person living with dementia is to put their well being at the top of the family priority list. To help you do this, it might help to review how that wellbeing was affected last Christmas or during any other celebration or family occasion since then. NOTHING is more important than the wellbeing of the person living with dementia. If they remain content, everyone will have a good Christmas.

Some things to consider:

  • Disrupt their environment and routine as little as possible.
  • There are many social and community activities bunched around Christmas so any involvement needs to be planned with care to prevent them feeling overwhelmed.
  • Keep preparations and Christmas activities low key to make sure the person with dementia stays relaxed.
  • Keep Christmas decorations, lights and card displays to a minimum. Put them up gradually to help the person with dementia get used to them and not be disorientated
  • Spread family visiting out over a few days and make sure that routine rest times are respected
  • Try and involve the person with dementia in the preparations and on the day.
  • Use particular strategies to help the person living with dementia feel valued and involved in a family gathering. Designate one room in the house as a “quiet” room where the person with dementia can relax without loud noise.

If you would like more information about working with dementia, please contact Wendover Dementia Support on 01296 620342/www.wendoverds.org.uk.