This is my Blogmas day 2 post and it’s going up on what should be day 4.. Now we’re doing Blogmas Charlotte style!
Today I want to talk about Alzheimer’s and Christmas!
Over the last few weeks I’ve received a lot of questions asking for advice on how to deal with caring for or visiting somebody with Alzheimer’s over the festive period.
I thought I’d share my answers to the most frequently asked questions here just incase anyone else needed the advice too.
Please note though I’m not a professional. Any advice I give is based off of my personal experiences.
This is my first Christmas with my relative who has Alzheimer’s. Any tips?
• Prepare yourself, this Christmas isn’t going to be as easy as all the others have been. The disease doesn’t take a break just because it’s Christmas.
• Don’t force Christmas on to person with Alzheimer’s, if they don’t show an interest then leave it. The more you force the issue the more you’ll upset them and the harder it’ll be for yourself.
• Avoid taking person with Alzheimer’s to large family parties. Sufferer will be embarrassed at not being able to remember names and simple things, they may get aggressive or overly emotional. Protect the dignity of the person suffering with the disease. Family may not understand why you’re not attending but it’s kinder in the end.
• Be patient, relax, have fun.
Can I allow person with Alzheimer’s to drink at Christmas?
• This is something you’d need to consult a doctor over as alcohol may tamper with the effects of any medication the person is on. Personally I wouldn’t recommend it but I’d consult a doctor if you are thinking about it.
I’m going to visit a relative of mine that I haven’t seen for a while, they have Alzheimer’s, how do I act around them?
• Be yourself. Unless you happen to be an absolute prat then maybe be a nicer version of yourself!
• Seriously though just act naturally, talk about things you would normally talk about and where possible do things you would normally do.
• I’d avoid running up to them and hugging them though. Although elderly and seemingly frail I don’t advise that you startle them. I’ve seen elderly people with Alzheimer’s throw some pretty mean punches when startled!
What should I get my relative with Alzheimer’s for Christmas?
• Perhaps you could make then a CD of their favourite songs, or make them a scrapbook. Something that’s really going to trigger happy memories for them and you.
• Give them your love.
• Failing that the same sort of stuff you’d normally buy them. Nothing dangerous though, obviously.
Is it safe to have Christmas decorations up around people with Alzheimer’s?
Yes. But the best advice I can give you for this is, decorate your house or wherever it is you’re decorating like you would if you had a baby / toddler living with you. Go crazy with the decorations and make the place look magical but be overly cautious with hazard proofing.
These are just a few of the frequently asked questions I’ve had recently regarding Alzheimer’s and Christmas if you have any more you can comment down below, tweet me @MissCharlotteEm, message me on Facebook Facebook.com/AndThenCharlotteSaid or drop me an email mailto:Charlotte-Emily.email@example.com
Merry Blogmas everyone! 🙂
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