The 12 rules of Christmas dementia care

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If a loved one has dementia you might be worried about how they’ll cope during the festive season. Read our simple guide to help you make Christmas as enjoyable as possible – for everyone.

1. Have a plan

Taking a, ‘let’s see what happens’ approach to the festive season isn’t going to work when you’re caring for someone with dementia. Spontaneous visits can be stressful so make sure to contact anyone who usually drops by (and who your loved one will definitely want to see) and organise dates and times in advance.

2. Trust your instinct

It’s not too late to change a plan you may have agreed to initially but which you’re now worried about. For example, if you’re dreading an overnight stay with Aunty Alice because you know your loved one won’t sleep and could become very unsettled, trust your instinct, confront it now and either cancel the trip or agree to a shorter visit which can be done in a day.

3. Always include them

Whether you’re trying to decide what to buy for the grandchildren or who to visit on Boxing Day, make sure you ask the person with dementia for their opinion, thoughts and ideas. Encourage them to help you too, with thinks like setting the table or writing Christmas cards which will provide a sense of purpose for them. Focus on what they can still do to help and feel part of the festivities (however small that may be) rather than what they can’t do.

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