In ordinary circumstances, Christmas is a time that is characterised by a business which is not present during any other national holiday. Unfortunately, the festivities can be somewhat marred for people that are suffering from dementia. Whilst memory loss is one of the side-effects most commonly attributed, this is far from being the only symptom. Here at Companions of London, we specialise in live-in care, and helping people to live well with dementia. This means that we are ideally placed to illustrate some of the considerations that you should make at the end of the year, when someone close to you is suffering from this condition.
Decorate at a Gradual Pace
Although this may not be technically classified as a symptom of dementia, there is a tendency for the afflicted to be disoriented by massive change. Therefore, it would be unwise to erect your various decorations in a single day, and subsequently expect them to feel comfortable. An unknown environment can cause a lot of stress, and thus impact their quality of life. Instead, a more prudent move would be to bring in your Christmas tree on one day; following this, you could adorn your front door with a wreath a few days later.
Don’t be Ignorant of their Condition
A person with dementia can find it incredibly difficult to adapt to scenarios which they are not familiar with. However, it is not their job to try and fit in; instead, it is important for you to recognise the ins-and-outs of their condition, and adjust accordingly. Case-and-point, Christmas is typically characterised as a loud social occasion. Those diagnosed with dementia can react badly to this, hence why you should perhaps keep blaring music to a minimum. Not only this, but don’t be judgemental if they want to go for the occasional nap throughout the day.
Acclimatise them to the Situation
As mentioned previously, environments which are unfamiliar can cause various issues for people living with dementia. They will have undoubtedly gotten used to a particular routine, and regardless of the fact that it may be Christmas Day, this is not something which they can simply throw out the window. Dementia carers advocate that you should attempt to include, on your special day, elements which they are accustomed to on a daily basis. For example, try and eat dinner at the same time they ordinarily would – this simple step can provide exceptional results.
Include them in Activities
This is arguably the most important factor to consider amongst them all – simply because someone is living with a diagnosis of dementia does not necessarily mean that they cannot enjoy what is stereotypically a joyous occasion. They will have likely lived through countless Christmases, all of which they will have fond memories of. Opening presents, playing classic parlour games – these are just some things which they can take part in, and subsequently smile at. Provided that you are considerate, there is no reason that they can’t be an integral part of the festivities.
Companions of London – Who Are We?
If you are someone that has been investigating dementia home care, and would like to find a positive alternative to the traditionally-negative care homes, you are in luck – Companions of London is here to help. We are proficient in providing a variety of home care services; however, by far-and-away the one that we are most proud of is being capable of caring for someone with dementia. As a company, we understand how difficult it can be – this not only relates to those suffering from this disease, but also their friends and family members. Want to learn more about what our care and support entails? Please follow the instructions on our website’s contact page to get in touch.