How To Support a Loved One in a Care Home This Christmas
Christmas is a time to celebrate with family and friends, but if your loved one is in a care home this year it can be difficult to work out how best to involve them in your festive events. Here are ways you can include your loved one in your Christmas celebrations, while considering their needs.
If this is the first year your loved one has been away from you for Christmas, it can be hard to work out how to adjust your traditions to include this new dynamic. Don't think of it as a Christmas compromise -- making plans to incorporate your loved one in your celebrations in whichever form you are able to do so is a positive move.
Consider their needs
Even with the best of intentions and care, your loved one's needs may be complex and confusing to navigate. For example, dementia patients can often experience disorientation, confusion, and agitation at times of heightened emotion and unfamiliar situations. This can make it difficult for them to follow traditional Christmas rituals, like singing carols, opening presents, or having conversations around the dinner table. If your loved one can travel to spend time in your home, consider how you can reduce sensory overload on Christmas Day. This can include reducing noise, bright lights, and decorations, as these can be overstimulating and cause anxiety.
Plan a Skype call or visit
If your loved one is unable to travel to be with you this Christmas, there are still plenty of other ways to celebrate Christmas with them. You can organise for family and friends to send cards and gifts or arrange for a group video call on Christmas Day. These small gestures will help make sure your loved one knows they are still part of your Christmas celebrations.
Speak to care home staff
Staff at the care home will know what activities and events are appropriate for your loved one, and help you think of ways to involve your family member. Care home staff are experts in creating an inclusive environment and they will be able to come up with unique ways to make sure your loved one feels included this Christmas.