Festive tips help Suffolk families care for their loved ones with dementia | Care UK

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Festive tips help Suffolk families care for their loved ones with dementia

December 22nd 2015

i-gallery-sandfields-10Christmas can take a lot of planning to make it a success, but for families where a loved one is living with dementia, a combination of careful preparation and a relaxed attitude is important to ensure the day runs as smoothly as possible.

Dementia champion Angela Hodge, who works with Care UK’s new care homes across Suffolk, offers advice on how to make the most of Christmas for someone living with dementia and how to avoid the stresses and pressure points that may take the shine off the special day.

Angela’s top tips:

1.    Plan – make sure your loved one can meet healthcare appointments and has sufficient medication to see them comfortably through the holiday period. If you’re going away with your loved one, double check you have packed their medication and make a note of key phone numbers so you can gain support if needed, such as their GP or day club manager.

2.    Get out the photo album – sit down together with your loved one and find photos of the relatives you’ll be seeing over the holidays. Sharing festive memories can also help you plan a Christmas that feels familiar to them. 

3.    Help your loved one to feel useful – people feel valued and worthwhile when they can contribute to the running of the family, whether it’s wrapping presents together or baking mince pies.  

4.    Familiar TV and music – people with dementia often, in their minds, feel they are a different age to their chronological age. Recording TV Christmas specials and classic films from yesteryear, or putting together a playlist of classic Christmas songs, can be reassuring and help to trigger memories.

5.    Gifts can be good for wellbeing – a perfume they wore, an MP3 player full of favourite songs or an adult colouring book are all fun, relaxing and are helpful for reminiscence and maintaining life skills.

6.    Plan the dinner table carefully – senses are affected by dementia and depth perception and hand-eye coordination so try having plates with contrasting colours to the table cloth and use foods of different colours, such as peas, red cabbage and carrots, so that they can see the difference. Also consider dishing-up dinner rather than having serving dishes on the table. 

7.    Create a comfortable space where they can go if things get a bit too much – people living with dementia can become anxious around lots of noise and activities as their senses cannot differentiate one activity from another. Create a warm and cosy bolt-hole where they can go, but keep the door open so they don’t feel excluded.

Lastly, Angela reminds families across the county to have fun and enjoy the day.

Angela says: “Christmas is a time to come together and create new family memories. Sometimes expectations can be set too high, so remember to go with the flow and stay in the moment. Relax and enjoy the special day!”

The Hartismere Club offers a supportive and personalised day club for older people living in Eye and the surrounding area. 

The Hartismere Club
Castleton Way
Eye
Suffolk
IP23 7DD

0333 321 1988

Our brand new day club in Framlingham opened in September offering a superb change of scene for members, and some time off for their carers. Members are able to make full use of the cinema, coffee shop and hair salon in the new luxury care home next door, so make a date for your loved one’s free taster session today.

The Mills Meadow Club
Fore Street
Framlingham
Suffolk
IP13 9DG

0333 321 1983

  • Day care
  • Dementia care

The team at Britten Court pride themselves on making residents feel cared for, arranging romantic dinners for them, as well as fancy dress parties and even trips to the theatre. We understand that everyone likes to have something to look forward to. We’re always open to residents’ ideas for new activities too.

Britten Court
Love Road
Lowestoft
Suffolk
NR32 2NY

0150 255 9611

  • Nursing care
  • Residential care
  • Nursing dementia care
  • Residential dementia care
  • Respite care
  • Day care

Everything about our Stowmarket care home is designed to support the health, comfort and wellbeing of residents. As well as providing a wide range of high quality care services, each of the home’s 70 bedrooms has en-suite facilities and we even have downstairs rooms that open on to our lovely secure gardens.

Cedrus House
Bittern Crescent
Stowmarket
Suffolk
IP14 5XG (For sat nav please use IP14 5GD)

0333 321 1987

  • Dementia care
  • Nursing care
  • Residential care
  • Nursing dementia care
  • Residential dementia care
  • Respite care
  • End of life care
  • Day club

There’s a great atmosphere at Cleves Place, helped by our enthusiastic team and keen residents. We take every opportunity to have fun, whether at our own (indoor) street party to commemorate VE Day, or dreaming up unusual sandwich fillings and getting competitive during National Sandwich Week.

Cleves Place
Millfields Way
Haverhill
Suffolk
CB9 0JB

0144 085 7920

Our skilled care teams deliver a range of round-the-clock care services, all matched to each resident’s needs. Everything about the home is designed with residents’ comfort in mind and a range of daily activities and regular events ensures that there’s always something to look forward to.

Davers Court
Shakers Lane
Bury St Edmunds
Suffolk
IP32 7BN

0333 321 1982

  • Dementia care
  • Residential care
  • Respite care
  • End of life care
  • Day care
  • Palliative care

Our 80-bed care home specialises in supporting people living with Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia. Keeping active is the key to staying independent, so we support residents to take part in a range of activities and even have their own small role in the home if that appeals to them – like laying the table for dinner.

Glastonbury Court
Glastonbury Road
Bury St Edmunds
Suffolk
IP33 2EX

0333 321 1989

  • Dementia care
  • Nursing care
  • Nursing dementia care
  • Residential dementia care
  • Respite care
  • End of life care

Hartismere Place is a brand new, purpose-built care home in Eye – an ancient market town in North Suffolk. Everything about the 60-bed home has been designed to support your loved one to continue to enjoy a fulfilling, varied and comfortable lifestyle.

Hartismere Place
Castleton Way
Eye
Suffolk
IP23 7DD

0333 321 1988

  • Dementia care
  • Nursing care
  • Residential care
  • Nursing dementia care
  • Residential dementia care
  • Respite care
  • End of life care
  • Day club

We believe in supporting families, whether they have loved ones living with us at Mildenhall Lodge, or they’re caring for them at home in the community. We run a number of events that local people can come along to for extra help, and we’ve also set up a Carers’ Support Group that meets regularly.

Mildenhall Lodge
St John’s Close
Mildenhall
Suffolk
IP28 7NX

0163 877 8504

  • Dementia care
  • Dementia care (Early stages)
  • Nursing care
  • Residential care
  • Nursing dementia care
  • Residential dementia care
  • Respite care
  • End of life care
  • Palliative care
  • Continuing care
  • Continuing healthcare
  • Frail elderly

Our new purpose-built care home in the ancient market town of Framlingham is now open. The team in our bright and spacious home plan exciting activities and outings, and residents are welcome to play their part in home life in whatever way they wish, including helping in our lovely gardens.

Mills Meadow
Fore Street
Framlingham
Suffolk
IP13 9DF

0333 321 1983

  • Dementia care
  • Residential care
  • Nursing dementia care
  • Residential dementia care
  • Respite care
  • End of life care
  • Day club

Our care home team will get to know your loved one to find out everything we can about their life, interests and even the food they enjoy so that we can deliver quality care that’s personalised to their needs. Family members and friends can visit at any time, and we’re always on hand to provide advice and support when you need us.

Prince George House
102 Mansbrook Boulevard
Ipswich
Suffolk
IP3 9GY

0147 385 5690

  • Dementia care
  • Nursing care
  • Residential care
  • Nursing dementia care
  • Residential dementia care
  • Respite care
  • End of life care
  • Day club

Members of the Cedrus Club day care centre love celebrating annual events in style. Members made their favourite sandwiches to take home for National Sandwich Week and crafted a flower mural during the week of Chelsea Flower Show. And when they’re not getting their hands dirty in the garden they’re hosting their own events.

The Cedrus Club
Bittern Crescent
Stowmarket
Suffolk
IP14 5XG (For sat nav please use IP14 5GD)

0333 321 1987

  • Day care
  • Dementia care

The Cleves Club day care centre is a real lifeline for members. They can catch up regularly with friends, have a hearty meal and do activities that they enjoy. Meanwhile their family carers have the time and the freedom to do whatever they need to do, knowing that their loved one is in safe hands and is having fun.

The Cleves Club
Millfield Way
Haverhill
Suffolk
CB9 0JB

0333 321 1985

  • Dementia care
  • Day care

Every day at the Davers Club day care centre starts with a group coffee morning when our team and club members get together to share what they’ve been up to. Then club members are welcome to do what they fancy, playing Scrabble, having a sing-song or helping in the garden. Themed activities around annual events and days are always popular too, and a lovely chance to reminisce.

The Davers Club
Shakers Lane
Bury St Edmunds
Suffolk
IP32 7BN

0333 321 1982

  • Day care
  • Dementia care

Our day care centre members enjoy getting together for activities: bingo, gardening, music and competitive games are popular. Many members of the Prince George Club are living with dementia, so we chat about their early lives. But we also like to enjoy the here and now, with outings and visits from entertainers and local school groups.

The Prince George Club
102 Mansbrook Boulevard
Ipswich
Suffolk
IP3 9GY

0333 321 1986

  • Day care
  • Dementia care