How to have a dementia-friendly Christmas

At Encore Care Homes we take the following steps to ensure all of our residents enjoy Christmas and feel happy in their home:

  1. Put decorations up gradually. Think about putting decorations up gradually over a few days so it doesn’t alter the person’s home and usual surroundings instantly. Putting the decorations up gradually allows people affected by dementia to familiar themselves with the decorations at their own pace.
  2. Keep it simple. Keeping the day’s activities low key will help your loved one to relax. Sticking to a familiar routine is so important, this means keeping meals to the regular times and in the familiar surroundings, to limit any potential confusion. 
  3. Create a quiet room. A large number of guests can be overwhelming, so ask family and friends to spread out their visits during the festive period. If Christmas is a busy time of year for you, designate one room in your house as a ‘quiet room’ where your loved one can relax without loud noise and too many visitors. 
  4. Reminisce about Christmases gone by. Whether it’s playing old songs they used to enjoy dancing to or watching a classic Christmas film, find something fun you can take part in together. 
  5. Be flexible. It’s easy to get caught up in Christmas traditions and wishing, but your festive season might begin to look different as dementia progresses. It’s always worth having a plan B, and be prepared to change your plans if a particular element isn’t working.
  6. Be mindful of food. Although it is a traditional custom for people to eat a lot at Christmas, a full plate can be daunting for someone who has difficulties eating. Be careful and consider the portions served.