Festivities are typically a time for joy and celebration across all cultures. However, it might present as a stressful time for both caregivers and persons with dementia due to a disruption in their usual routine. Here are some practical tips on how you can make the time an enjoyable one for all family members.
1. Consider the food
Food is often a highlight in family get-togethers. Ensure that the food being served can also be savoured by your loved one. Try to serve softer food in smaller portion sizes for easier swallowing and digestion.
2. Planning the day
Try to keep to your loved one’s usual routine as much as possible. Schedule in some rest time for your loved one if an entire day of bustle might be overwhelming. Stagger the timings for visiting if you have many relatives coming as it might be overwhelming for your loved one.
3. Preparing for the festivities
What are the usual routines you do with your loved one during the festivities? Try to involve them with simple activities, such as rolling the dough when baking festive goodies, or folding paper decorations. The preparation process can also help to orientate your loved one and get them excited for the upcoming celebrations.
4. Communicate with your relatives
Try to get your relatives to spend some one-on-one time with your loved one with dementia.
5. Prepare some reminiscence materials
Get your relatives involved by putting together a scrapbook with old photos and mementos from the past. This will serve as a conversation starter between your relatives and your loved ones with dementia.
6. Enjoy the festivities too!
Get a relative to help out with your caregiving duties so that you will have some time off for yourself to enjoy the festivities and celebrations too!