We are now in the depths of winter, and with this time of the year come difficulties for those with Dementia. It doesn’t have to be all bad though; here are a few tips for winter that will help you if you have a relative or care for someone with Dementia.
Along with the cold weather, winter brings Christmas. This should be a happy, merry time of year filled with Christmas ‘magic’, but many Dementia patients fell very lonely. Many do not receive an invite to events as people don’t understand their condition and are maybe afraid that they will behave strangely. Since Christmas is about giving you should try and involve Dementia patients. Reminiscing about Christmases past is good for their memory and the inclusion will almost certainly bring a smile to their face; a very nice gift to give if nothing else.
Safety is another concern with the deterioration of the weather and the dropping of temperatures. A person with Dementia or Alzheimer’s won’t necessarily dress appropriately for the colder weather. So you should try and cover as much exposed skin as possible with several layers of lightweight clothing, especially if plans involve time outside.
Also, the icy surfaces created at this time of year can increase the risk of slips and falls. So make sure that appropriate shoes are worn. If you are inviting a loved one over on Christmas day make sure your paths or driveways are clear of any ice or snow.
Another issue that can badly affect Dementia patients is ‘sun downing’. This is the effect of decreased sunlight in these winter months which can increase anxiety, confusion and even increase sleepiness. Dark and shadowy environments can increase confusion so make sure that lights are turned on earlier and the most is made out of the daylight hours.
We truly hope you all have a pleasant Christmas time and we look forward to talking to you in the New Year; keep in touch!
Stay safe and look after those around you.