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