Category Archives: Christmas Countdown

On the 24th day of Christmas what YOU can do for US……

So today is Christmas Eve, which means we’re finally at window 24 of our #dementiaadventcalendar   I hope you’ve found the previous 23 suggestions useful for what you can do to help us be involved.

this final one if a special message I recorded of me and my playmates at Minds and Voices……hope you enjoy it…

 

On the 23rd day of Christmas what YOU can do for US…….

Our penultimate window……

I’ve been asking playmates up and down the country….

What simple, practical, cheap tips do you have for OTHERS to help make it easier for YOU to be involved in projects, meetings and events?”

So today sees the  Number 23 window being opened…….

“Be prepared for the unexpected. We never know if today will be a good or bad day, so be sensitive to our changing needs…..”

None of us ever quite know what planet we will be on from one day to the next. So be observant, as we often don’t realise it ourselves straight away. Being sensitive and observant to our state of play today is simply being kind and kindness costs nothing…….

On the 22nd day of Christmas what YOU can do for US…..

Nearly at the end of our 24 days to Christmas…….

I’ve been asking playmates up and down the country….

What simple, practical, cheap tips do you have for OTHERS to help make it easier for YOU to be involved in projects, meetings and events?”

So today sees the  Number 22nd  window being opened…….

“If you’re the Chair of a meeting, give us TIME to think and speak – don’t be afraid of silences….”

The one thing we often need is TIME. We may answer a question that was raised several questions ago because the answer has finally popped into our heads – what does it matter? Or we may need time to put all the right words in the right order…..just give us TIME…..if we havn’t asked for help to find a word and you interrupt by bombarding us with suggestions, we’ll just get confused and our moment will be gone….

On the 21st Day of Christmas what YOU can do for US…..

I’ve been asking playmates up and down the country….

What simple, practical, cheap tips do you have for OTHERS to help make it easier for YOU to be involved in projects, meetings and events?”

So today sees the  Number 21 window being opened…….

“Think what we CAN do not what we CAN’T – there’s always a way to overcome obstacles to our involvement…”

So often people concentrate on the negatives instead of embracing the positives. If we’re not goos at public speaking maybe we’re brilliant at writing poetry or writing music and singing. Either would get over the message just as powerfully as a talk.

If we have trouble verbalising in a meeting, maybe we could type what we want to say for someone to read out…..

There are many ways to communicate and be involved and not all involve speaking…

 

On the 20th day of Christmas what YOU can do for US…..

I’ve been asking playmates up and down the country….

What simple, practical, cheap tips do you have for OTHERS to help make it easier for YOU to be involved in projects, meetings and events?”

So today sees the  Number 20 window being opened…….

“If people with dementia are present, ask other speakers to present in an appropriate manner and avoid fussy, jargon fuelled, technical PowerPoint slides..”

No one like to feel stupid, and why should we be any different? If there are lay people in the audience other speakers should deliver in an appropriate manner and not use a talk they’ve delivered before that was aimed at a different audience.

Think carefully about the colour and size of font if you have to use PowerPoint and don’t have lots of information on one slide as that would be overwhelming….Keep it simple, keep it fun, keep it relevant for the whole audience….

 

On the 19th Day of Christmas what YOU can do for US….

I’ve been asking playmates up and down the country….

What simple, practical, cheap tips do you have for OTHERS to help make it easier for YOU to be involved in projects, meetings and events?”

So today sees the  Number 19 window being opened…….

“Make it easy to find the venue…”

Often you’ve invited us to an unfamiliar place, so we might need lots of help when finding the venue. Some people like to be met at the station, in which case, remember to state clearly where and when and don’t be late. Make sure we have a photo of the person we’re looking for and a mobile number. Some people prefer to get a taxi.

Ask us what method suits us.

I sometimes prefer finding my own way, so providing me with simple instructions – a tube route if in London, a walking map (not forgetting the route in reverse for getting back) and a picture of the building all helps.

A sign on the outside of the building and inside the main reception will help us feel relaxed that we’ve found the right place. Or someone waiting for us at the venue also helps.

Finding somewhere new can be scary for the best of us, so make it as simple as possible…

On the 18th Day of Christmas what YOU can do for US….

I’ve been asking playmates up and down the country….

What simple, practical, cheap tips do you have for OTHERS to help make it easier for YOU to be involved in projects, meetings and events?”

So today sees the  Number 18 window being opened…….

“Don’t surprise us on the day with items for discussions. Send these several days before…”

We’re not that good at off the cuff thinking , yet, if given time, we could come up with some valuable ideas. We just need time to think and digest…..You’ll be missing some valuable nuggets if you spring these on us and expect something worthwhile to come out of our heads….it may be a bad day…..

 

More of Billy’s Christmas Tips………revisit…

Today is a reblog of this one from Billy in 2017……he’s a very clever cat…….

 

Hello..

Billy the cat here, having snuck in and commandeered Wendy’s ipad just long enough to paw out my Christmas tips for being a cat dementia friendly Christmas……Wendy did want to stick a Christmas hat on my head, but she wisely changed her mind……😹 Anyway, here goes my top tips……

B – is for – Billy Rules… – Be patient with a loved one – they may simply need more time.

I – is for – I’m the boss – Include don’t exclude. Adapt the Christmas environment to be dementia friendly. Plan ahead, don’t make a fuss, make it normal…If I want to help, let me….

L – is for – Lots of cuddles for Billy – Live in our moment, after all what does it matter if we get names and gift tags muddled

L – is for – Lots of snacks for Billy – Leave plenty of time if travelling.

Y – is for – Yuletide greetings from Billy – Your loved one still loves Christmas but may need adjustments and more understanding.

T – is for – Too many biscuits are never enough – Try and find a quiet corner for someone with dementia in case it all gets too much

H – is for – Have lots of cat food in stock – Have A check that medication won’t run out.

E – is for – Expect Billy to want lots of cuddles – Expect someone with dementia to need some space. A quiet room to escape when things get too much. Don’t be offended if they want to be alone.

C – is for – Cats Rule – Christmas shopping can be very noisy and confusing for someone with dementia. Shop at quieter times or look out for a store doing a dementia friendly shopping time.

A – is for – Accept that Billy comes first – Accept mistakes with humour, what does it matter?

T – is for – Trust me, I’m a cat – Take extra care not to put obstacles in the path of someone with dementia as they might not see the dangers.

Now obviously most people have a star or angel on the top of their tree, but Wendy. Gemma and Stuart have obviously got it right……….Merry Christmas from Billy the Cat…….😻

On the 17th Day of Christmas what YOU can do for US……

I’ve been asking playmates up and down the country….

What simple, practical, cheap tips do you have for OTHERS to help make it easier for YOU to be involved in projects, meetings and events?”

So today sees the  Number 17 window being opened…….

“No event about us should be held without us being invited to speak…”

So often we see an agenda about people with dementia, with not one single person invited to speak on our behalf….we’re often an afterthought….some organisations have said how they couldn’t find anyone with dementia to speak….well they couldn’t have looked very hard as there are soooo many of us out there. All they have to do is contact the DEEP network if they really can’t find individuals…

As my lovely playmate Chris Roberts says…”Nothing about us without all of us…”

 

On the 16th Day of Christmas what YOU can do for US…..

I’ve been asking playmates up and down the country….

What simple, practical, cheap tips do you have for OTHERS to help make it easier for YOU to be involved in projects, meetings and events?”

So today sees the  Number 16 window being opened…….

“Look to our past skills – we may just need support or adaptions to use them again..”

for example, someone may have been very good at chairing meetings in the past. They may still be, but may need help by someone taking notes, someone highlighting the agenda items. Someone may be very good at IT and design, so use their skills when developing posters etc…as I’m always saying:

we all had talents before a diagnosis, we don’t suddenly lose those talents overnight. We just need the support of those around us to use those talents in the same or different ways….’