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DEMENTIA

Dementia-friendly activities for Christmas

We’ve compiled a list of Christmas activities to support those with dementia and their loved ones this festive period.

December 05, 2023

Couple at Christmas

If you have a friend or family member with dementia, Christmas can sometimes be an especially challenging time for them. There might be more people around than usual, with sights, sounds and changing routines. This can sometimes feel quite confusing, disorientating and worrying for someone with dementia, especially if they usually have a predictable routine and are used to things happening a certain way.

In this article, we look at some activities and things that families can do together which are supportive of a loved one with dementia, so they can feel involved in the festivities along with everyone else, but in ways they are comfortable with.

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Listening to classic Christmas music

The benefits of music for those with dementia are well-known, with many people with dementia finding that music helps to trigger positive emotions, feelings of nostalgia and can help them to better connect and engage with the people and world around them.

Listening to festive tunes, carols or hymns spanning the years can help all of us feel ‘Christmassy’ but may have an even deeper connection for someone with dementia, if it helps to spark memories and feelings in them.



Doing festive arts and crafts

Participating in Christmas-themed arts and crafts or other creative activities can be beneficial for people experiencing dementia symptoms, as it can for many older adults. Arts and crafts for the elderly is something known to be good for both physical and mental wellbeing and you can easily tailor the activity to the individual involved.

Christmas crafts

For example, if the person with dementia can no longer manage some activities that they used to enjoy, such as sewing or knitting, they might still enjoy other crafts such as colouring or painting paper Christmas decorations or making Christmas cards with stickers and other embellishments.

This is something that family members or friends of all ages can sit down and participate in together, whilst still being a calm and quiet activity that helps everyone feel involved in getting their surroundings ready for Christmas.

Festive baking

Whether your loved one with dementia is used to baking or not, it can be a great activity to do together at Christmas time. They may be able to get fully involved with all aspects, such as weighing out ingredients, stirring and mixing dough, or they may instead be able to get involved in decorating gingerbread figures or adding sprinkles over icing.

Many people with dementia have strong memories or connections with things they did many years ago, so if they have ever baked or been around someone who did, then the sights, sounds and smells of making festive goodies can help them to make mental connections and be beneficial to them.



Decorate for Christmas together

Christmas decorations that appear quickly and suddenly can really change a room and this can sometimes have a negative effect on someone with dementia, as it might not look like somewhere they know.

Carer at Christmas

One way that you can help with this is to gradually put decorations up over several days, so that the rooms don’t change significantly all at once. Involving your loved one with dementia in decisions about festive decorating can also be beneficial to them. They might have some decorations they know and love, which have been used by them for many years. Or it can just help them feel more included if they have a say in where decorations might hang or what colour lights to use on the tree.

Watch some older Christmas movies or TV shows together

In a similar way to music sometimes being able to spark memories or positive feelings, watching some older festive films or TV shows that they may have seen when they were younger could also be something your loved one with dementia may enjoy.

Elderly couple Christmas selfie

Films such as ‘It’s a Wonderful Life’ or one of the earlier versions of Scrooge could be a good pick, or they may like some classic TV shows and comedy specials from Christmas that they first watched years ago. Morecambe and Wise, The Good Life, Dad’s Army or Porridge from the 70s, Blackadder from the 80s, Keeping Up Appearances or One Foot in the Grave from the 90s could all be good options if they used to watch these shows at the time.

 

Peace of mind if a loved one has dementia

Living with this condition, whether in the early stages of dementia or if things are more advanced, can be a real challenge at any time of the year, including at Christmas, for the individual and the people around them. If your loved one is living at home, it’s very natural to worry about them, especially when you’re not there.

You may want to consider one of our dementia alarms, which have been designed to help keep track of a loved one with dementia, especially if they might wander off from home or get confused while they are out and about.

Our range of dementia alarms all have GPS technology built-in, so your loved one’s location can always be tracked and help can be arranged if needed, by our 24/7 Emergency Resolution Team. Some devices can also have safe zones, so an alert is triggered if your loved one moves outside of the pre-set area.

This can offer real peace of mind to the loved ones of someone with dementia. If you’d like to find out more about our products and find the best dementia tracker alarm for someone in your life, get in touch with our team by calling 0800 0121 321.

Find out more about dementia alarms

If you want more information on which personal alarm might be best for you or a loved one, get in touch by calling 0800 0121 321 or browse our dementia alarm range.

Dementia alarms

Independent living products brochure

Learn how personal alarms and home monitoring solutions can keep you or your loved ones safe and independent at home.

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Ways to support independent living

Independent living products brochure

Learn how personal alarms and home monitoring solutions can keep you or your loved ones safe and independent at home.

Download brochure