I published this last Christmas….but have added a few new pictures of Billy to bring it up to date for another outing this year…..
Wendy’s out Christmas shopping so I’ve commandeered the iPad to write my blog:)……..well if she leaves it switched on what does she expect!
I knew the month of December had arrived when Stuart got this huge box down from the loft. Once emptied of all the huge branches and baubles, it makes an excellent den – never quite understand why humans insist on filling boxes when they’re so much more useful empty…….
I sat in said box and supervised Stuart putting up the tree – I remember as a kitten climbing up said tree as I thought we needed to start a new tradition of ‘Cat on top of tree’ instead of fairy, but it didn’t take on…I tried again this year, but either the tree is less sturdy or my biscuit consumption has got out of hand as I’d only got halfway up when the tree started to take on a jaunty angle and I thought it best to retreat to the safety of my window sill….
Humans really need to take a leaf out of my box book, when considering those with dementia at what can be a very noisy, busy, chaotic time of year. So here are my tips for providing a
cat dementia friendly Christmas……:
- 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…..I know Wendy is going to see ‘Strictly Ballroom’ at the West Yorkshire Playhouse in Leeds……
- 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……
- 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
- 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…