Making the most of the holidays for people living with dementia
The summer holidays are traditionally a time for families and friends to gather together but for people living with dementia, their families and carers, the time can be fun but challenging.
To help make the most of the holidays, Dementia Australia has some tips to support people impacted by the disease.
Dementia is not a normal part of ageing and it can impact anyone at any age although it is more common in people over the age of 65 years. If you are concerned about a loved one and their memory, call the National Dementia Helpline 1800 100 500.
Similarly, if you have not seen a loved one living with dementia for some time, it’s best to be prepared for the possibility their condition may have changed. Recognising emotional needs and seeking support during this period may reduce feelings of loss, loneliness and social isolation. Their trained advisors on the National Dementia Helpline 1800 100 500, can support you ahead of time.
There are approximately 447,000 Australians living with dementia and this number is expected to grow to almost 1.1 million by 2058. You are not alone. Dementia Australia is There to provide support.
Plan festivities with the person in mind
For those organising the gathering, whether it’s a family get together or a visit to the beach, make sure to consider the needs of the person living with dementia, including:
- pick a suitable location. Be aware of amenities with more than one entry or exit point and public spaces or environments where there are high levels of background noise as people living with dementia can find too much noise overwhelming.
- aim for flexibility – consider the best time to share a celebratory meal, bearing in mind that a change in routine may be confusing for a person with dementia, and include times for rest and quiet times with smaller groups of people.
- involve the person with dementia – assisting with simple event or meal preparation is important in maintaining a sense of well-being for the person with dementia. Where needed, modify the task or provide an alternative activity such as folding serviettes.
For more helpful tips, see www.dementia.org.au or call the National Dementia Helpline 1800 100 500.
The National Dementia Helpline is open Monday - Friday 9am to 5pm, except public holidays.
Dementia Australia is the national peak body and charity for people, of all ages, living with all forms of dementia, their families and carers. It provides advocacy, support services, education and information.
18 December 2019.