1. RoseA

    RoseA Registered User

    Jun 2, 2014
    5
    London
    This is Christmas no 6 for me and my mum in her care home. The first year Christmas Day my partner and I sat in the car eating smoked salmon sandwiches after driving across the whole of London to see her. It was fun for us. My daughter cooked us dinner later (a vegan one) with champagne and music. It is a poignant memory, and a special Christmas but very different. Mum didn't enjoy receiving presents (she hadn't got any to give) and that has taken some getting used to. I bring satsumas, nuts and crackers with some presents like bamboo socks.But partner didn't want to do that again, so we've changed it every year...Christmas Eve didn't work so well (mum was confused as it wasn't the 'right' day and got upset) Boxing Day and the day after were all good for her. This year I may go on Christmas Day alone and celebrate later with my family. Mum always says, I'm the only one here! Every one else has time at home with their families! Which is true and I long to have her home with me helping to ice the cake which was a lovely moment 7 years ago that I would love to recreate but know that her home is where she is best; safe in the routines and 24 hour care that she truly needs, she is so vulnerable.
     
  2. Toony Oony

    Toony Oony Registered User

    Jun 21, 2016
    503
    Hi - all being well our Christmas activities will be the same as last year which was Mum's first in CH. My husband, my daughter and I all went over to visit Mum late on Christmas morning. She hardly eats, and I couldn't face her having Christmas Lunch without us, so I prepared a Christmas picnic. We chatted to the other residents and then when they went for lunch we found a secluded spot and had ours. Some bubbly, some turkey soup, smoked salmon mousse and some little canapes, crackers and then a Christmas dessert trifle thingy - just us, as a family. Mum opened her presents although she didn't really know what day it was. We stayed with her until mid afternoon and then left and I cooked our Christmas dinner for the evening, while she had Christmas tea with the other residents. My daughter and I visited Mum again on Boxing day, then my normal visiting pattern resumed.
    This year Mum is even less aware - but hopefully we will be able to do something similar and she will enjoy it. Her routine will be as usual, but just slightly more special.

    BTW @RoseA - I led an activity at Mum's place for Prince Harry's wedding celebration. I bought packets of plain sponge fairy cakes, ready made frosting and loads of different sprinkles, cake decorations etc. Mum and I did the bulk of them and she really enjoyed it as she used to be an expert at sugar paste work and icing. The frosting was put in a bag with the corner snipped off and swirled on the cakes, then Mum went to town with the sprinkles etc. All the cakes were put on a big tiered cake stand that I have, and all that took part enjoyed making and eating them! Perhaps you could do a Christmas version to bring back those memories?

    XX
     
  3. RoseA

    RoseA Registered User

    Jun 2, 2014
    5
    London
    BTW @RoseA - I led an activity at Mum's place for Prince Harry's wedding celebration. I bought packets of plain sponge fairy cakes, ready made frosting and loads of different sprinkles, cake decorations etc. Mum and I did the bulk of them and she really enjoyed it as she used to be an expert at sugar paste work and icing. The frosting was put in a bag with the corner snipped off and swirled on the cakes, then Mum went to town with the sprinkles etc. All the cakes were put on a big tiered cake stand that I have, and all that took part enjoyed making and eating them! Perhaps you could do a Christmas version to bring back those memories?

    Great idea! I'll put something together! Thanks
     
  4. Blondee

    Blondee Registered User

    May 12, 2018
    105
    This will be the first Christmas my mum has been in her care home. When she was first admitted in June, my idea had been to bring her home for Christmas. She has however deteriorated so much both mentally and physically that I know it would be impossible and completely unsettling for her. I think I may visit either on Christmas Eve or on Christmas morning. As others have said - this is her home now and it’s all about keeping her happy and settled.
     
  5. Kitten71

    Kitten71 Registered User

    Jul 22, 2013
    157
    East Yorkshire
    Last year, I had Christmas lunch with dad in his care home and stayed for the afternoon and then joined my friends for the evening, where we cooked Christmas dinner and ate that later!! I was probably as stuffed as the turkey by the end of the day, but at least I got to spend time with everyone who’s important to me :D
     
  6. Singing Friend

    Singing Friend Registered User

    Nov 5, 2014
    26
    London
    Last year was the first one where my mum was in the care home. They sent me a letter beforehand (I got the one for this year yesterday) telling me what they had planned and we left her there so she could join in as much as she wanted to. On Christmas morning family members were invited sherry and mince pies while residents opened presents, but after that they had their own Christmas lunch, and we left her there for that.

    She was, I think, pretty happy when there were things going on and it was the days between Christmas and New Year which she found particularly difficult. She's lost the ability to decide what she wants to do, and there were fewer staff (and in fact residents) and no activities planned.

    I think in the end you have to do what is best for the person with dementia, and for my mum I think it was probably kindest to let her have as normal a time as possible.
     
  7. Tereleah

    Tereleah Registered User

    Oct 26, 2016
    2
    Mum isn’t in a nursing home but lives alone. She came to mine last year with intentions of staying. Yet she refused to join us at the table for lunch and refused to come into the living room to watch my grandchildren open their presents. Despite it being very warm she complained she was freezing I ended up taking her home early evening. Mums dementia much worse now and each day becomes several so I have no trouble taking her back home as she is more comfortable in her own surroundings. I rarely see my children and grandchildren so getting them all together at Xmas very special. As I see my Mum most days and have other siblings who only visit on allocated times and days (they have happily handed over responsibility of Mums care to me) I have no guilt Mum has over 30 children grandchildren and great grandchildren mostly living in the same city who never visit.
     
  8. Baggybreeks

    Baggybreeks Registered User

    Mar 22, 2017
    78
    Scotland
     
  9. Baggybreeks

    Baggybreeks Registered User

    Mar 22, 2017
    78
    Scotland
    My husband now 74 is in a care home. He has been away fo nearly 2 years and this may be his last Christmas. He has no ability to communicate and requires 100% assistance. Christmas with him will be just another day if he survives that long. I am with him every day to help with his evening meal as it’s the only way I can connect with him. It is so sad. I am not expecting to celebrate Christmas as it has meant nothing to him since he was sectioned and sent to the mental hospital 2 years ago. No question of him remembering, it has all gone. As is his future. It is so depressing. But I will be with him anyway. And no doubt we’ll have turkey etc. No family around so only care staff and residents. It doesn’t really matter that it’s Christmas, it doesn’t mean anything now.
     
  10. AliceA

    AliceA Registered User

    May 27, 2016
    2,577
    I feel so much for you, yes, at the end of the day it is about love even when it seems and feels one way.
     
  11. CRK1954

    CRK1954 New member

    Aug 9, 2018
    3
    This will be my first xmas in care for my husband and i know for sure that he would not cope with xmas meal around our family table with grandchildren, sadly. Instead i have put my name down at the care home to have lunch with him. Not for him, who will probably not know or indeed care, but for me. I have thought about it for months and decided it's thr best option. You've got to do what you think is right for your cared for and also yourself. Good luck and best wishes to all trying to sort out the logistics of one day which probably their loved one won't care about x
     
  12. CRK1954

    CRK1954 New member

    Aug 9, 2018
    3
     
  13. CRK1954

    CRK1954 New member

    Aug 9, 2018
    3
    Hello, you sound so lonely and extremely sad, says I. Could you possibly just visit him for a couple of hours on xmas day then have lunch with family or friends? It is such a torment for us all. Good luck with your decision x
     
  14. lincs lad

    lincs lad Registered User

    Oct 13, 2014
    10
    i am having wife at home come what may,
     
  15. MetalKnee16

    MetalKnee16 New member

    Jan 30, 2018
    5
    This is our first Christmas since moving my parents to a retirement village near me . Dad is possibly suffering from dementia but refuses to accept that there is anything wrong. Everything is everybody else's fault. My Dad hates Christmas, always has. I just know he will put a damper on everything. Is it selfish of me to just want to spend the day with my husband and son who WILL enjoy the day. I feel so guilty about this.
     
  16. MetalKnee16

    MetalKnee16 New member

    Jan 30, 2018
    5
    Oh God, I have just realised that this might be my last Christmas with my Dad, I cannot spend it without him and Mum, regardless of what happens.
     
  17. Normaleila

    Normaleila Registered User

    Jun 4, 2016
    712
    There is no right or wrong, you can only do what seems right. My aunt insisted she'd had several Christmases alone although she'd refused invitations and my brother had given up his Christmas to be with her.
    For her first Christmas in the care home, we all visited during December and my visited on Christmas Eve. The home had a lovely Christmas Day lunch - and my aunt was the only one who refused to attend. So a carer also missed out as he/ she had to stay with her.
    She's not mentioned it since. I think it would be too stressful for her.
     
  18. AliceA

    AliceA Registered User

    May 27, 2016
    2,577
    I feel whatever we decide it is right for us and the people we care for. Every case is different in many ways.
    I keep thinking of the warning about puppies, a dog is not just for Christmas.
    People need to be loved and cared for all year.
    I wondered if Christmas has just got overblown.
    Once we gave someone an 'Unbirthday' to show appreciation, we gathered gave presents and sang a happy unbirthday to you. The delight was amazing.
    WARNING. do not try this on someone already confused:(:(:(

    Perhaps though, little and often is kinder. A gift wrapped with love. The Day is not so important, the person is.

    It seems a far cry from the original meaning these days, of course, the original is said to be pagan - the coming of light and longer days, my ordained cleric friend assures the birth of Jesus was really in August.
    So celebrate love, family and what is best for the people we love perhaps. All the time. Today.
    Why save for a rainy day when it is raining now?
    PLEASE do not put on demands on yourself that adds to discontent and guilt. Someone with dementia will pick up on this emotion but not understand why.
     
  19. Sad Staffs

    Sad Staffs Registered User

    Jun 26, 2018
    678
    Female
    You are right @AliceA christmas is overblown. It has lost it’s true meaning.
    This year our Christmas will be very minimal. Just the two of us, with chicken and frozen veg! Sounds exciting!! But I’ve made myself smile.

    But it doesn’t matter. I’m not bothered what other people think, probably the first Christmas that has happened.
    It will be just me and him, together.
    I have always said I wouldn’t be carried away by Christmas, but I always have.
    Well, this year I can’t physically do it, my husband can’t mentally do it. I’m looking forward however minimal to it being just the two of us.
    Who knows what will happen in the new year.
    So I need to cherish being with him this year.
    B xx
     
  20. Baggybreeks

    Baggybreeks Registered User

    Mar 22, 2017
    78
    Scotland
    Thanks Sad Staffs and AliceA.
    Yes Christmas is just one day. It’s the rest of the year that counts too.
    Each Christmas there is less to “celebrate “ so I will be ok if my husband is ok. Control is not a good word for what is going on.
    The disease takes over and we have to accept that it is useless to battle it.
    As long as our love can support our loved one and we have the memories of the past good times to support ourselves.
    I am in various groups of carers and it makes me appreciate what we did have together all those years.
    And I have to get used to being alone. Never having had to be all my life. We were a total unit. But I am reaching an age so many people are alone now without partners. Life goes on.
     

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