1. debbiea

    debbiea Registered User

    May 22, 2006
    11
    Mum is in a care home now and this will be her first Christmas there which really saddens me. I would dearly love to take her out but think it would unsettle her too much and we would struggle to get her back to the home. My dilema do we visit her Christmas morning (think my heart would break if I didn't) and do we tell her it's Christmas day? :(
     
  2. Amber 5

    Amber 5 Registered User

    Jan 20, 2009
    890
    Berkshire
    Hi Debbie,
    I have just finished typing out some information for my mum's care home about Christmas plans, as this is also her first christmas there, so I know how strange/sad it feels.

    I'm not sure what stage your mum is at, but I would go with your gut feeling. Christmas is Christmas and I'm sure your mum will enjoy seeing you whether or not she is fully aware of it being Christmas.

    My mum has remembered that it is my birthday on Christmas Eve and has already mentioned going out for lunch, so that is what we will do. We are trying to stick to what we have done for a number of years - the only thing different is that I'll probably pop her back in the evenings rather than her staying here, so she can have her meds am and pm as usual. If all goes well it will reassure me that she accepts her care home as home now.

    Things aren't going to be the same this year but I hope it will be as near as possible. Hope all goes well for you - let us know what you decide and how it works out.
    All the best,
    love Gill x
     
  3. Sandy

    Sandy Registered User

    Mar 23, 2005
    6,847
    Hi debbiea,

    I would speak to the home manager about how the home normally celebrates Christmas with its residents.

    Most homes have a series of mini-events leading up to the big day and make a real effort on the day itself.

    Quite a number of residents in my MIL's home don't have local relations and so rely on the activities and spirit within the home to give them the best Christmas possible.

    Take care,
     
  4. Mameeskye

    Mameeskye Registered User

    Aug 9, 2007
    1,669
    NZ
    Hi Debbie

    It is a hard call. My Mum moved into a nursing home at the start of December. She went in from hospital following major surgery which cause rapid progress with her dementia.

    It was really hard to know what to do as she was still lucid and could cope to some extent with people.

    I also had twin 2year olds to accomodate.

    At the end of the day I spent the morning with the family and then we all went to see Mum after she had had her Chirstmas lunch and took her her presents and had another opening session and she gave my sons some presents that I ahd bought for her to give to them.

    As the years went by this continued. In the last two years of her life I went alone with just a brief visit from my OH and one of my kids when they came to pick me up.

    Christmas can be very confusing for someone with dementia because routines go out of whack, and some years my Mum was very very dirorientated and agitated on the day itself. It is a hard call to make.

    For me the answer was to visit for a while and share part of the day. For others it was to visit Christmas eve/Boxing Day and enjoy the day itself.

    You will find a balance that will help....

    (((((hugs))))))

    It isn't easy

    Love

    Mameeskye
     
  5. sue38

    sue38 Registered User

    Mar 6, 2007
    10,856
    Wigan, Lancs
    Hi Debbie,

    This will be my dad's second Christmas in his care home. Last year we decided not to take him out, and visited in shifts (rather than turning up en masse). We moved our Christmas lunch to around 5 o'clock, so that we could all visit him before starting on the turkey - and wine!

    As others have said the home will probably make quite an effort on Christmas Day. All I would say is try not to overwhelm your mum with too many visitors and presents all at once. In fact, now you've got me thinking - I might suggest to my family that we spread my dad's presents over about a week.
     
  6. connie

    connie Registered User

    Mar 7, 2004
    9,519
    Frinton-on-Sea
    This will be Lionel's fourth Christmas in the care home.

    I shall spend the day with him (my choice) he will not even know I am there.

    I remember the first year, he could still hold a conversation and was very aware.....so I thought. We had exchanged presents, and sat and had sherry with some of the other residents.

    Sat down to lunch in the dining room, crackers, xmas table cloths etc.....when he truned and said "This is nice, what is the occasion":confused:

    Just go with what your heart tells you to do, and accept Mum's reaction, whatever it is..
     
  7. September Girl

    September Girl Registered User

    Aug 19, 2009
    33
    This will be Mum's very first "housebound" Christmas. I'm going to extraordinary lengths to make sure she has a festive time, both before, during and after the wretched 25th, but I won't be able to have her with ME on that one day for lunch. First time in years.

    We hadn't actually mentioned "you know which day" until this afternoon when she actually told me in no uncertain terms that she hoped she wasn't going to be a b****y nuisance. I stuttered my way guiltily through explaining we'd see her for an hour or so on Christmas Day. I felt so,so bad, even though she was sitting in front of me, telling me it would be fine and lovely!

    Remind me, who has the problem here?
     
  8. living in hope

    living in hope Registered User

    Dec 14, 2008
    552
    yorkshire
    Hi
    This will be my husbands first Christmas in a care home and I am also wondering what to do, I am going to speak to the homes manager and take advice, but my feeling is that to take him out will cause him agitation as he does not like noise and too many people now, it confuses him, on his birthday (60th) the immediate family went and took him cards and presents and it upset him, he didn't understand what was happening and was unable to undo the cards and presents himself, so granddaughter helped him. I feel guilty that he will not share the family christmas as normal, but with this illness nothing is normal anymore! I shall probably go to the home and have lunch with him, then have a dinner with the family later, not ideal but think its what's best for my husband and that's what matters.
    Hope you can manage to have a peaceful christmas
    Lorraine
     
  9. dedcool

    dedcool Registered User

    Nov 22, 2009
    8
    bridlington
    Hi
    This is my sister Brendas first christmas in a care home. We brought her home to the UK in February from Frnce where she had lived for over 20 years with her husband, he stayed in france until he sold his property and is now living about 50 yards away form the home in an apartment. AD is dreadful to suffer and to see, she des not now him but adores him, but then she adores everybody. My husband and myself are going to spend Christmas day with both of them in the apartment, she will be there about one hour, but we will try to make that hour as good as is possile. She clings to me as I have been there for her since her return from France so my presence will make a difference. Spend some time at the home but they do feel more secure in their usual surroundings. Brenda my sister does not mix with the other residents so she will benefit from our arrangements good luck and enjoy while you can Mavis
     
  10. debbiea

    debbiea Registered User

    May 22, 2006
    11
    Thank you for your replies they are a great help. We live 200 miles away so only go down every 2 months but the rest of my family live near the home and visit all the time. I think I'll play it by ear and when my daughter and I go on Christmas morning we'll try to figure out if she knows it's Christmas first before we say anything. We'll spend an hour of so with her and leave it at that until Boxing Day. My poor 13 yr old daughter said to me the other day not to be angry with her if she cries on Christmas Day as she has never spent one without her grandmother. So sad.
     
  11. Maggiemay

    Maggiemay Registered User

    Mar 26, 2009
    120
    YORK, UK
    Christmas has always been a strain for us as a family even prior to my Mum's 'memory problems'.It has gotten to the stage where my grown up kids can hardly tolerate their Gran at anytime let alone Christmas - with hindsight her worsening behaviour may have been the dementia starting up but I don't know as Mum has always had a difficult side to her personality. Now she is in sheltered accommodation I'm at a loss as to what to do re Christmas too.... I can feel myself getting all worked up over it. :(
     
  12. MGB

    MGB Registered User

    Jun 26, 2008
    73
    Shrewsbury
    Mum allways came to us christmas day. This will be her first time in a home. We are all going to a christmas party on the 13t at the home. The day it self after my 7 year old has had his presies off santa we plan the go for a hour in the morning to take her presie. Then will come back and start our day. Im lucky as the home is only 15 mins away i guess.
     
  13. ElaineMaul

    ElaineMaul Registered User

    Jan 29, 2005
    333
    Hi Rach,
    This is my Dad's first Christmas in a dementia ward. They are also having a Christmas party on the 13th so we can compare notes afterwards :)

    Really don't know what to do for Christmas. Mum and Dad have always come to me for the day but think that would be too unsettling for Dad ..... he was pretty agitated last Christmas and I spent the whole day feeling anxious. He's much worse this year.

    I am working up to Christmas Eve, although our boss quite often lets us go early on the last day .... often as early as 2pm. Was thinking of going to see him on Christmas Eve afternoon. Can't think how I'll fit in a visit on Christmas morning, what with trying to cook and fitting in going to church!

    Mind you, doubt my poor Dad is really aware of what day it will be :(

    To be honest, I don't feel at all Christmassey :(

    Will have to continue pondering!
    Elaine
     
  14. vdg

    vdg Registered User

    Aug 6, 2009
    264
    Hampshire
    This is also my Mum's first Christmas in a home. She has made it quite clear though that she wants to come to us for part of Christmas day and Boxing day. The staff are happy for her to do so as she comes to our house for lunch every so often. However, I have had to prime the family who haven't seen her for a while that she will not necessarily know them, if she goes to the loo and I follow her they are to stay well out of the way until I give the all clear, and that small people are not to make comments about smells etc![ although we could probably get away with blaming it on grandson's nappy!lol!]
    Recently she asked about Christmas cards so I suggested some names of people she usually sends to. Sadly she could not remember who my sons are or my d-i-l. Perhaps she will be better when she actually sees them? I hope so.
     
  15. Val_B

    Val_B Registered User

    Oct 27, 2009
    109
    Scotland
    Another in the "Mum's first Xmas in a home" group here. I always went to Mum's (300+ miles from my home) for Xmas (except one year when I was working in a Care home, how ironic is that!?), now she is in a Nursing Home 20 minutes away from my place.
    We haven't decided what to do yet - though Mum has expressed a firm desire to come to us on Xmas day. She got very anxious at her birthday party at the home recently - felt very responsible for everyone eating enough etc, and said it was the biggest birthday party she's ever had (probably true!).
    We're taking her out to a Xmas market later today - let's see how that goes ...
     
  16. Christin

    Christin Registered User

    Jun 29, 2009
    5,038
    Somerset
    I agree with MaggieMay - I dread Christmas. The effort of making everything seem 'normal' is exhausting. Last Christmas Day we spent 6 hours in casualty when FIL collapsed after dinner - no known reason. He was sent home, apparently nothing wrong him, and I dread the same happening again this year. I always want to make Christmas extra special for my family and I always seem to fail.
     
  17. julieann15

    julieann15 Registered User

    Jun 13, 2008
    2,012
    Leicestershire
    This is my first with MIL(Mum) being in the care home near me. we will pick her up in the morning and bring her to ours for present opening and lunch with my sons and our daughter.

    Another first to handle?

    Love Julie xx
     
  18. nocturne

    nocturne Registered User

    Nov 23, 2009
    645
    Yorkshrie
    This will be my first Christmas since Mum went into a care home, too. I think that this is a really hard time of year for all carers, whether their loved ones are at home or in care. It has been a big worry as I have no other relatives in this area. For years we have spent Christmas with my cousin and his famiy about 60 miles away, staying for 3 days as I am partially sighted and not allowed to drive. Of course, there are no trains or buses on either Christmas Day or Boxing Day. They can't come here as their married daughters, who have young children, have to split their Christmas Day between the two sets of grandparents. Do I miss out on the famiy Christmas and be on my own apart from the possibly stressful hours with Mum or do we risk it and both go as usual? My cousin says "come" as there will be plenty of people to help with Mum but, of course, he has had litle experience of the bad days. On a good day Mum will cope, but can I rely on 3 good days? Usually I do go on my gut feeling when making decisions about Mum. The problem now is whether if I decide to go, my gut feeling is more about my own selfish desire not to be alone at Christmas.
    I feel for all of you who are facing a similar dilemma. Whatever we do it is never going to feel quite as it should.
    Jan
     
  19. Pollyanna

    Pollyanna Registered User

    Jul 8, 2008
    814
    Can I join in? It's my nan's first Christmas in her care home.

    She was never wanted to leave her house at Christmas, she didn't ever want to cause anyone any trouble and seem to be contented with this. For the last 12 years, I have always spent a couple of hours with her on Christmas Day, mostly on my own. Those visits have left me with such happy memories of when there have been just the two of us. I must admit the visits were the highlight of Christmas.

    She wouldn't leave the care home now and it would be too much for all of us.

    This year, I'll go to her home. It will be different and the conversation won't be the same, but at least she is here and I'm just grateful I have another Christmas with her.

    I'm quite looking forward to is. There are some 'characters' at the care home and I'd like to see them too. I'm sure everyone will help to make it a nice day for the residents.

    I don't have a big family anymore so there is no dilemma regarding time. I see so many people torn at Christmas rushing from house to house trying not to upset anyone.

    Like many people, I find Christmas Day difficult. I feel that you're meant to be happy and your meant to be grateful for what you have, but it's often a painful reminder of what you had, lost, miss and want back :(

    Polly x
     
  20. shelagh

    shelagh Registered User

    Sep 28, 2009
    476
    Staffordshire
    It breaks my heart to read how much you all want Christmas to be as good as it can be for those you love, and how you long for it to be as much like it was as you can.
    Here's a glimpse of Christmas from the other side - from someone who has Alzheimer's even in the early stages.
    I dread it. It's too noisy, too bright, too crowded. Things don't look the way they should, I walk along the road with the dog and see a house decorated all over with Christmas lights, and although I can still remember after the first moment of confusion why it is, it unsettles me. Even going to the hairdressers on Friday the big Christmas tree frightened me, it made the salon look different, the furniture was all changed round to accomodate it and so I had to keep reminding myself where I was and why it had all changed - it was a struggle. Every change is a struggle and it's so exhausting.
    It was my birthday yesterday and I have only managed to open a few of my presents this morning. I was nervous about the unknown under the wrappers, although part of me knew they were good things, I worried about where to put the new things, knowing I would be surprised and unsettled when I come across them and what have to remember them all over again. Every new 'thing' has to be learned and remembered, sometimes it's worth it. Sometimes I wonder. This is how it is for me and it may not be for others, but I suspect it might find echoes in some of your loved ones.
    The only thing that really matters will be the hugs, the touches of hands, the strokes. Please remember those and forget about the rest even though it will mean it is such a different experience of Christmas
    Love to you all
    Shelagh
     

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