Living with dementia

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Holidays in a long-term care home

If the person with dementia is a resident in long-term care

Maintaining family traditions may be difficult if the person with dementia lives in long-term care. It’s important to adjust your plans and expectations to suit the person with dementia as well as yourself. Whatever you do, remember to:

  • Check ahead with the long-term care residence about holiday policies. If there’s a party planned, try to attend to show support for the staff as well as your family member or friend.
  • Talk to staff in advance; they usually know best what residents can handle.
  • Make celebrations simple; it’s your presence that counts.
  • Bring a favourite book or piece of music and read or sing together.
  • Do group activities like going for walks together.
  • Reminisce about past holidays or events to help trigger happy memories.
  • Ask the person if they’d like to involve other residents in your family celebrations.
  • Plan shorter but more frequent visits and limit the number of visitors.
  • Arrange for other family or friends to visit if you’re unable to do so.
  • Keep an eye on how the person reacts during gatherings and respond to their needs; don’t overstay your visit if the person seems tired or distressed.

Last Updated: 04/11/14
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