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Another question about Christmas

Discussion in 'I care for a person with dementia' started by Linbrusco, Oct 23, 2015.

  1. Linbrusco

    Linbrusco Registered User

    Mar 4, 2013
    1,578
    Female
    Auckland...... New Zealand
    If you are caring for somone still at home, what are some tips to make it as stress free as possible :)
    If we didn't mention to Mum it was Christmas nor if she saw all the advertising on TV, she would not even know its Christmas.
    I just wish I could prevent all the letterbox advertising and christmas cards that get mailed to her.
    Anything out if the norm, Birthdays, Easter, public holidays, Christmas throws her into a tailspin.

    Last year was the first Christmas I have sent cards to all the family signed on behalf of Mum & Dad, and I got a few phone calls to ask why! and a couple of distant family members that I forgot about entirely :rolleyes:
    This always used to be Mums domain, but she can no longer write them let alone get all the addresses correct.
    Getting Dad to write them, would cause an uproar. Mum accepts things more if I do them on her behalf but not Dad :)

    Christmas dinner I have not even thought about, but my sister was wanting to go out somewhere, which I don't think is a good idea with Mum.
    Christmas is so different now......
     
  2. Flake

    Flake Registered User

    Mar 9, 2015
    222
    Im not sure what to do about Christmas either. Last year my Mum had a really good time and we were all surprised at how nice it was. This year her deterioration has advanced and she is sometimes incontinent, her clothes grubby and her personal care is lacking despite my having constant moans at the Carers. We had a vote and my boys and partner all said No to her coming to us this year, 1. because they felt she would be confused as to where she was and 2. her conversations are very repetative and sometimes very silly and she is confused as to where and who people are and lastly they did not want their day spoilt! It is me that does all the running around, collecting and returning and making sure she is at home safe and my Christmas day will start in the evening. As you have said, my Mum wouldnt know it was Christmas if it was not for the tv adverts and mailshots. Any other annual events, birthdays etc are all missed unless I make a point of stating the facts which are then forgotten straight away. Then I get told off for not reminding her! I am now feeling guilty and not sure whether to put my family or my Mum first. :(
     
  3. Lancashirelady

    Lancashirelady Registered User

    Oct 7, 2014
    110
    ooh, yes, it was just like this last year with Mum. She has always had and sent over 100 cards, often to people she hasn;t seen for 40 years, but was adamant about sending them. Until last year, when she couldn;t summon up any enthusiasm even though I offered to write them for her. I ended up buying cards, getting her to sign some while I signed ohers for her and inserting cryptic notes hinting why she had been unable to write herself. I;m sure if no-one had actually mentioned Christmas to her she wouldn't have had a clue about it and would have gone on in blissful ignorance. As it was I brought her to my house for a week and she was totally bewildered, though I think she actually enjoyed Christmas day with the family - just go a bit much for her to cope with after a few days.
     
  4. cragmaid

    cragmaid Registered User

    Oct 18, 2010
    7,963
    North East England
    For three or four years befor Mum was diagnosed I had started printing labels....from Mary, From Aunty Mary, Nana, Mary S or Mrs S... to go with the address labels we printed, She could sit with me and we'd stick them on together. When she went into the CH, I sent change of address letters to her entire address list and for the first couple of Christmasses the cards went out as normal. Last year we only sent a very select few, all of which were accompannied be a printed note explaining that, due to her frailty, these would be the last..... they were.
    After she died, I sent another lot of printed forms out... she had a far flung family and friends base, and this year, if I missed anyone out I'll let them know.
    My Mum and Dad, especially, were great believers in keeping in touch. Dad would post letters on Christmas Day, if they'd missed sending someone a card.

    As for the last few Christmas days...year 1 in the home...Lunch with us as usual, Year 2 I think she stayed in the home and last year she stayed in the home and in her bed most of the time.
     
  5. Raggedrobin

    Raggedrobin Registered User

    Jan 20, 2014
    1,431
    I wrote Mum's cards for her last year, got her to sign them with me, but put in notes explaining that Mum now had dementia. This year, I will only send cards to her very close friends, as the others will now understand why they aren't getting cards. I put them up in her room on a piece of string and took in a mini xmas tree too. Not sjre she got any of it but it looked festive.

    We had xmas in the nursing home last year. I think my partner found it particularly hard, his sister is married to a vicar and they are used to huge, family xmases in the vicarage. He felt he had missed out by being at the nursing home (too far away to do both).

    I treated xmas as xmas, but didn't make it into too big a deal. I did wrap up lots of presents for her, and had to kind of unwrap them again for her. :DJust useful stuff she needed but she seemed pleased by that. i wondered if the expensive chocs were such a good idea as they just lay around mouldering in the nursing home for weeks and weeks afterwards.

    i wouldn't ignore xmas, but I certainly wouldn't take my Mum out for xmas dinner. The risk is less about how she might get upset but more that she could ruin everyone else's xmas lunch if she had a bit of a wobbly. Added to which she isn't really happy being anywhere unfamiliar.

    Although she seemed fairly unaware of xmas, on boxing day she said 'well thank god xmas is over, that was awful' which of course made me feel dreadful. She would only really enjoy xmas in her own home but we can't do that now sadly.

    I think the main thing I would concentrate on in your position is keeping her in a quiet, calm atmosphere. If there tend to be a lot of you together, is there a quieter room she prefers to be in, or is it possible to have xmas elsewhere and take it in turns to be with her while other family members are celebrating? Not so she misses out but so she is only dealing with a couple of people at a time. I hope you find a wag through it okay. It is not an easy time of year as we remember now our loved ones used to be in years past and how different it has all become now.
     
  6. Lindy50

    Lindy50 Registered User

    Dec 11, 2013
    5,302
    Cotswolds
    My daughter is coming with me to see mum tomorrow - she can't come often due to long working hours and living an hour's drive away. I'm hoping after that we'll have a chat about Christmas...this will be the first year that one daughter is married and living away, another living with boyfriend, that hour away, and mum is in a care home. It's definitely not going to be like Christmas used to be......x
     
  7. lizzybean

    lizzybean Registered User

    Feb 3, 2014
    1,398
    Lancashire
    I do a few cards with MIL, just special friends & family, she would prefer that I wrote them but as she could do them last year I encouraged her. This year I think I will write them & just get her to sign her name.
    Every year since my FIL died (18 I think) she has come to me for Xmas lunch, this year my dau is doing it. She had no idea last year that it was Xmas day & like a previous poster said if there are more than a couple of people present at any gatherings she is even more confused. She cannot follow a conversation unless you have eye contact & speak only to her. Then we get huffing & puffing because we are leaving her out.
     
  8. Dimelza

    Dimelza Registered User

    May 28, 2013
    130
    Last year was the first year that I realised Christmas was pointless for my dad. Mum brought him over and he barely lasted an hour before wanting to go home. We obliged as him staying would have caused him stress and was only for our benefit to assuage our guilt at him being alone. This year he's living in our garden (in an annex not just in the garden ☺️) and we intend to leave him be, treat it as a normal day for him but see if he'd like to come across for a while at lunchtime when it's usually quieter as we just have bacon rolls.
    It's not the same but it's been easier than I anticipated as we have my parents here every year and he's become less tolerant of Christmas gradually.
     
  9. Pear trees

    Pear trees Registered User

    Jan 25, 2015
    441
    My mum has never 'done' Christmas, no cards, presents, dinner etc. She will be spending Christmas as she has done for over 35 years, even since my stepfather died 9 years ago, on her own wanting no visitors except for my SIL with her dinner in the afternoon. My invitation was always refused and she never wanted to see any of her grandchildren or greatgrandchildren. We have visited for the last 3 years, but she has ignoŕed us and our hamper in favour of the TV, then told us to bu**er off as her dinner is coming. I am working this year so the decision not to visit was made for me.
     
  10. Pegsdaughter

    Pegsdaughter Registered User

    Oct 7, 2014
    129
    London
    Last year mum would ring to ask who this person was who sent her a card, the names rang no bells with me. Being 93 they may have been her and dads great nieces or nephews or even great greats. She could not understand why I did not know who they were. I have since told many of her acquaintances not to send cards as she only knows close family now. Usually we have her to stay over Christmas but not sure she can cope this year.


    Sent from my iPad using Talking Point
     
  11. piph

    piph Registered User

    Feb 4, 2013
    1,530
    Northamptonshire
    We really don't want to spend Christmas at Mum's yet again this year, our son and dil asked us down to stay with them, but I just can't face the guilt I'd feel if we leave mum all on her own on Christmas day. She'll probably realise it's Christmas, because of the telly, but it won't be much fun - it hasn't been for several years, and she's much worse this year. So, as usual, we won't do what we want, but what we must! Selfish I know, but, just for once, I'd like to do what we want.
     

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