I am hoping that if you are traveling this holiday season, you are there by now!
Holiday celebrations by their very existence, are different. Different food, different times for meals and lots of different people.
If you are dealing with a dementia patient, who is away from home, these differences in routine might not sit well. Your LO will be apprehensive meeting and greeting people. It’s because they are embarrassed at their inability to remember people, or carry on a conversation. Be sure your LO has a comfortable place to sit, get them a beverage or food, and try to be close by. They will depend on you more than usual.
Remember the children’s table? We now have the old folks table! Really. Stake out an area, where your LO can be comfortable and watch the activities. Try to alert other guests to introduce themselves, and explain their relationship to the group. (Hi, I’m Ralph, Nancy’s husband). That works bout 75% of the time.
Buffets are a great way to feed a lot of people. And fixing a plate for your LO and delivering it to their staked out area will make him/her much more comfortable.
Holiday celebrations usually mean everyone stays up later than usual. That probably won’t happen with a dementia patient. When it’s time to leave, it’s time to leave because they are not going to adjust their bedtime! And there is a limit to what amount of holiday celebrating (confusion) a dementia patient can take.
Give your self and your LO about 3 hours. to mingle, eat and enjoy. Choose which three hours are best. Then pack it up and start fresh tomorrow.
Happy Christmas Eve!