Christmas And Dementia: How To Help Your Loved One Celebrate Christmas

Elderly at christmas

When you think of Christmas, you think of Christmas cards, the annual Christmas Day family dinner and presents scattered under the tree. If your loved one is living with dementia, Christmas can be both stressful and overwhelming for them, resulting in tension and pressure for your fellow family members.

There are things that you can do to include your loved one in your Christmas celebrations, so that they can join in on the festivities. This involves making a few tweaks to how you celebrate Christmas with your nearest and dearest so that they don’t feel lonely and isolated in their own home.

If you are wondering how you can help an elderly person living with dementia celebrate this time of year, we’ve included some tips to create a dementia-friendly Christmas.

Simplicity Is Key

People with dementia can become distressed when put in unfamiliar surroundings, particularly if their home has been heavily decorated with Christmas decorations. Keeping your Christmas celebrations as simple as possible is crucial for your loved one with dementia so that their daily routines are not disrupted.

Christmas Day can be an extremely busy day, with friends and family members travelling down to spend some quality time with you at your home. The combination of loud music and excited guests having conversations with one another may cause the person who is living with dementia to get confused or anxious. 

Being flexible and adaptable is key to having a dementia-friendly Christmas, even if it means a few family traditions have to be held differently. Doing so will ensure that your loved one is able to enjoy the festive period in surroundings that are familiar to them.

Decorate The Home Slowly And Gradually

People with dementia find dealing with sudden changes to be difficult as their regular routines are disrupted. For example, normal room layouts such as the living room and sitting room are suddenly changed with Christmas decorations in those rooms, leaving them confused and distressed.

Instead of putting the Christmas decorations all across the house at once, you can slowly and gradually decorate your loved one’s home. It’s also worth getting them involved in decorating their home with Christmas decorations. You could start with the Christmas tree and then build up overtime to include the lights, presents and much more.

We recommend not decorating the hallway and kitchen as your loved one could feel disoriented by having shiny things around those areas of their home.

Involve Family And Friends In Christmas Shopping

Christmas shopping can be stressful, but with a bit of planning, you can involve everyone in this activity. If your loved one wants to do their own Christmas shopping, then you need to make sure that you help them so that you know what they want to buy for their nearest and dearest.

To make your loved one with dementia’s Christmas shopping experience less stressful, there are a few things that you can do to make it stress-free for them. Making a list of presents to buy for family and friends is incredibly useful for a person with dementia as it’ll save you time having to search for the item that they’re wanting to buy.

If you are unable to get family and friends involved in your loved one’s Christmas shopping, that’s where Sova’s dementia care service can come in and help. No matter where your loved one is based in England, a trained dementia carer will help transport them to and from the shops, as well as provide high quality dementia care in their own home.

Sing Their Favourite Christmas Carols

Music can bring lots of benefits for people living with dementia. By singing or playing music to them, you can help your loved one express their feelings and ideas in a safe and enjoyable way.

Singing Christmas carols can help your loved one to recall any past memories that they have of celebrating Christmas with family members and friends. It’s a great way of getting them to communicate with you so that they can share how they are feeling about the upcoming Christmas celebrations.
If you find that your family is unable to attend the Carol service, Sova’s social companionship service can provide some company for your elderly family member. Your loved one will be looked after by one of our friendly social companionship carers, who will provide excellent company when singing Christmas carols together.

How Sova Healthcare Can Help Your Loved One With Dementia Celebrate Christmas

Celebrating Christmas doesn’t have to be stressful and isolating for your loved one at home. With a few tweaks, your elderly family member can enjoy the festive period with their fellow family members and friends. By taking these tips into consideration, everyone can get stuck into the Christmas celebrations.

When it comes to helping your loved one celebrate Christmas, our team of specialist carers can help during this time of the year. Whether you are based in Harrogate, Leicester, Birmingham, Halifax, Bradford or Redbridge, we’ll be able to provide high quality dementia care from the comfort of their own home. 
If you are struggling to care for your loved one with dementia this Christmas, you can speak to one of our regional teams across England today. We’ll assist you in finding the right dementia carer who will provide the best dementia care for your family member at home at Christmas and beyond.