Mental health

Christmas Tips - Supporting your loved one with dementia!

8 November 2017

Christmas is the time for festive cheer, sparkles, celebrations and dressing up as an elf (oh maybe that one is just me).

I really love the run up to Christmas, more than the actual day to be honest! I love mince pies, decorations, fairy lights, trees with angels on top, socialising, smiles ... laughter .... basically EVERYTHING!

However, I’m also very much aware that the Christmas period can be the complete opposite to all the things I’ve listed above...

It’s also a time that highlights grief, sadness, anger, heartbreak, loss, loneliness ... and can be an utterly distressing time too. So I’ve written this about supporting a loved one with dementia at Christmas!

I’ve noted a few tips that might help...

Sing, sing, sing 

I literally blast on about the powers of singing and music to anyone who will listen (excuse the pun). Having seen first hand the wonders of music on individuals living with dementia, I can’t stop raving about it!

It might be really enjoyable to sing Christmas carols together – singing really stimulates the mind!

Fuller Fact - Musical memories are the last thing the brain retains, making them the last thing we forget :) cool hey! 

Sharing is caring 

It’s really great to try and involve your loved one in your own activities. This could be anything from cooking, walking or even cleaning.

This can help in supporting your loved one in maintaining their feeling of "purpose" which can enhance their sense of self-worth. It may also help take their mind away from the hustle and bustle of the festive period.

Memories are magical

Creating a memory box or life story book is a simple activity that you could try around Christmas. By sitting down together and exploring a collection of items or images from the from past can really help encourage short-term memories by stimulating long-term ones.

Ssshhhh....where’s the quiet room? 

If your house becomes very busy around the festive period, it would be good to create a ‘quiet room’ if it’s possible. An area where someone can have some quiet time, without the noise of television or conversations and offers a bit of "downtime".

X Rebecca x