Well this Christmas is going to be very different. I could tell it was THAT time of year again when Stuart ordered Gemma and Wendy
to leave me and Stuart for a boys afternoon playing with the Christmas tree to go shopping for the afternoon.
I had great fun
climbing the tree and planning which baubles to knock off in the night watching Stuart beautifully decorate the tree
Never take us shopping when the shops are heaving – too much noise and crowds cause confusion and disorientates.
Before the big day, check they’re not going to run out of medication – order well before – must remind Wendy to read this…
Some theatres are now doing dementia friendly performances – see if your local theatre is one – not sure what ‘Cats not allowed’ is all about though…..
If you’re going to a Carol concert – make sure it’s one that sings the old carols that they will be familiar with so they can join in.
Make sure me and Wendy have a quiet area in your house where we can feel happy to go if things get too noisy and confusing. We need our cuddle time.
Safety first – I like nothing more than to have lots of paper and boxes lying around but those with dementia have a tendency to fall over anyway and can easily go flying if there’s obstacles all over the place and I don’t want you leaving me alone on Christmas day to take someone to A&E……
Allow them to help if they want to (although Wendy would insist I write here that this doesn’t have to be compulsory as Stuart makes a mean Christmas dinner totally unaided…) but others may enjoy cooking – think and plan ahead so they can help if they want to.
Don’t be offended if they’ve put the wrong name on the wrong parcel – what does it matter – it makes it all the more fun opening them! You can never have too many parcels marked with a ‘Billy’ tag – hint hint……
Loud noises startle people with dementia – and cats called Billy………so if there’s lots of you round the table, make sure you don’t all pull the crackers at once or at least warn the person that there’s about to be loud bangs….
Don’t move their possessions around to make space for others – they like consistency and panic if things aren’t where they expect them to be, although a luminous snowman seems to have taken my place on MY window sill! Good job there’s 2………
And finally – Don’t be offended if people with dementia want to spend quiet time with their pets – we’re a wonderful calming influence.
Include don’t exclude – Adapt the Christmas environment to be dementia friendly. Plan ahead, don’t make a fuss, make it normal…
All that talk of activity has worn me out…..good job Gemma likes lots of cuddles…….she’s just not got to move now……..for an hour or 2……….