two sets of hands holding a gift in front of a christmas tree

Preparing For the Holidays

11 Dec 2021

The holidays are quickly approaching. That means gifts, bad weather, and wonderful food. More than anything else, though, it means family and friends coming together. However, if your loved one is living with dementia – especially if your loved one is only starting to experience serious symptoms this year – it’s highly likely that you have some questions about how to make this holiday season inclusive for them. 

In this short article, we’ll take you through some of the steps you can take to make sure that your loved one is safe and comfortable during the holidays. Hands on Care offers personal care, social care, and cleaning services for our clients in the United Kingdom. We make sure our clients are well taken care of and are able to maintain rich, independent lives with an excellent quality of life. 

As part of our pledge to provide care and support to our clients, we aim to help them maintain an active role in their loved ones’ lives. 

Scroll below for more information on preparing your loved one for the holidays. 

Make Sure Your Loved One is Warm

A big part of making sure that your loved one is comfortable and well-taken care of is ensuring that your loved one is warm. For people with dementia, it’s very easy for them to forget to stop and take notice of their internal body temperature. As such, it falls to you as their caregiver to make sure that they’re warm. 

Luckily, it’s not particularly hard to do this. All you have to do is to make sure that your loved ones are wearing warm clothes and that their homes are warm enough. 

Clothing

It’s very common for people with dementia to forget things such as the season, what clothes are good for cooler temperatures, and in some cases even how to dress themselves. Because of that, you may need to make sure that your loved one is dressed appropriately for the weather. 

Wherever possible, you should help your loved one get dressed and help them pick the clothes best suited to the temperature inside. It’s important not to dress for the outside temperatures immediately, as your loved one may not go outside for some time — at which point you can give them a nice coat and jumper to wear on top of their existing clothes. 

Another great tip for making sure that your loved one is warm this time of year is by making sure they have easy access to several warm blankets around the house and know that it’s okay to put these blankets over themselves if they feel cold. For example, you could place them on the backs of chairs or on the bed. 

Central Heating

You want to make sure that your loved one’s central heating — whether their own or yours — is in working order. Remember: older people usually experience the colder temperatures more acutely than  younger people, especially during the winter months. It’s also important to remember, as previously mentioned, that people with dementia often struggle to maintain their own temperatures; as such, it may be a good idea to put your loved one’s central heating on a programmable timer. 

Make Sure Your Loved One Feels Included 

The next part of preparing your loved one for the holidays is to make sure they feel included. It’s very easy for someone with dementia to feel as though they’re being put on the back pedal. In order to avoid that, it’s important to make sure that your loved one feels included in the celebrations. It may sound vague, but with some simple steps it’s easy to do. 

Include Everyone

Make sure that everyone attending your holiday celebrations is aware that your loved one is dealing with dementia. Be honest with them: explain that your loved one has certain needs. That way, they can be aware of the situation ahead of time. 

Have a Practice Run

In relation to the above recommendation, you may also wish to have a practice run of the event ahead of time. This will help build up your loved one’s sense of familiarity and make the actual event that much easier – after all, everyone has already done it once! 

Consider Your Loved One’s Needs

Finally, you should make sure to consider your loved one’s needs. People living with dementia often have specific needs in terms of their comfort and emotional enjoyment which often isn’t apparent until you actually think about it. For example, consider the traditional New Year’s Event. 

These celebrations usually contain fireworks and low cheering – two things that could possibly cause alarm and anxiety in a person living with anxiety. If you want to include a loved one with dementia in such a celebration, it may be a good idea to approach them before the fireworks start, explain what’s happening (if possible) and provide encouragement during the immediate celebrations so that they do not feel anxious or alarmed. 

Contact Hands On Care Today

For more information on helping to prepare your loved one for the winter period, regardless of whether they’re in social or personal care, get in touch with Hands on Care Today. Our trained carers will help you.

Hands on Care Homecare Services Limited
United House,
Tern Hill,
Market Drayton,
Shropshire,
TF9 3PX,
01952 743490
01952 743490