1. Our next Q&A session is on the topic of Christmas and dementia.This time we want our Q&A to involve our resident experts, you! Share tips and advice on navigating Christmas here in this thread.

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Making memories this Christmas

Discussion in 'I have a partner with dementia' started by patchworkamber, Nov 11, 2015.

  1. patchworkamber

    patchworkamber Registered User

    Jan 6, 2014
    45
    south east wales
    I just wanted to share my feelings about my OH and Christmas. He has vascular dementia, not quite 2 years yet since the initial stroke but there has been a rapid decline this year. I am sure that this will be the last year that he will be able to understand that it's Christmas and not sure whether he will still be at home with me or not next year. it will just be us two and our adult daughter and I want to try and somehow make it meaningful? I thought I would take lots of photos or get the video camera out? Also I know my daughter will find it hard seeing her dads decline. Any thoughts much appreciated x
     
  2. fizzie

    fizzie Registered User

    Jul 20, 2011
    2,731
    The year before my husband died I knew it would be tough even with two teenagers so i booked a pantomime for boxing day and on Christmas day i invited a load of people for lunch who didn't have anywhere better to go and we played games all afternoon and evening (my mum had dementia so it was supported games (my OH had cancer). It was one of the best Christmas's we have had!!
     
  3. kennedy1948

    kennedy1948 Registered User

    Oct 7, 2013
    58
    Huntingdon
    You could have been writing about us patchworkamber ......my husband also has VD which has progressed quickly this year . We have a Son, Daughter and 5 grandchildren and we are going to make this Chrstmas the best ever. Like you, we plan to take lots of photos and videos and I have compiled a CD of all his favourite songs to play. My daughter is very good with him and comes to visit 3 times a week but my son is finding it difficult especially on the days when Tony is very confused. I try to make the most of the good days and ride out the bad ones......sadly today is a bad day. I hope that you have the best family Christmas possible. Make lots of memories

    Maggie
     
  4. TinaT

    TinaT Registered User

    Sep 27, 2006
    7,095
    Bolton
    Sounds a good Christmas plan to me Patchy! Memories can still be laid down and I hope the three of you have a very good Christmas together.

    xxTinaT
     
  5. LadyA

    LadyA Registered User

    Oct 19, 2009
    13,540
    Ireland
    My best wishes too for a good Christmas together. Having been there the Christmas before last, having that feeling that, even if my husband could still be with me at home by last Christmas - he would not realise it, I am now so glad I am able to remember good times - he loved Christmas. Everything about it. He loved the lights, the tree, the decorations. One of his daughters sent a special little decoration for the tree that year, just for my husband. I'm glad to have it now, as it will always remind me of our final Christmas together, when he knew what was going on. By last Christmas, he was in a nursing home, and he died in August.

    I think you are absolutely doing the right thing to make a special effort to make good memories this year. You will always have them to treasure.
     
  6. Mrsbusy

    Mrsbusy Registered User

    Aug 15, 2015
    356
    Can you set up a way without anyone knowing apart from you something to record the conversation etc over the dinner table etc. read about somebody who did this every year and played it back years later to relive it and hear relatives voices again.

    Secrecy is the key as if it's known people won't act naturally.
     
  7. patchworkamber

    patchworkamber Registered User

    Jan 6, 2014
    45
    south east wales
    Thank you everyone for your kind responses and I can see I am not alone in my query. As well as photos and video i think I will also go a bit OTT with the decorations and will endeavour to keep my happy face on as much as possible. (As well as a few glasses of plonk and the chocolate..)
     
  8. LadyA

    LadyA Registered User

    Oct 19, 2009
    13,540
    Ireland
    But you know what? Go OTT with decorating etc - but DON'T think everything has to be home cooked from scratch to make it memorable. This has to be a relaxing time too. No-one will care if you cut corners and spend less time on preparing and cooking and more time relaxing and joining in with family and friends.
     
  9. Beate

    Beate Registered User

    May 21, 2014
    11,745
    Female
    London
    Also, please don't feel disheartened if your OH doesn't care too much about Christmas anymore. My OH is wholly unimpressed by the whole thing, the subject of presents and cards mystifies him - he prefers a quiet day in front of the telly these days. So do I, truth be told. Christmas is just the two of us these days.
     
  10. fizzie

    fizzie Registered User

    Jul 20, 2011
    2,731
    I have a great deal of empathy with your OH Beate, I feel the same lolol bah humbug xx
     
  11. sunlover

    sunlover Registered User

    Dec 6, 2011
    55
    Me

    I have just bought a lovely album from meminio.com it's
    really for children but thought it would be a lovely memory for hubby.
    Carer loves it and has taken charge!!
     
  12. Jinx

    Jinx Registered User

    Mar 13, 2014
    2,333
    Pontypool
    I am wondering how best to cope with Christmas this year. It's the first with OH in care. I was wondering whether it would be fair to bring him to my daughter's house for presents and lunch, or better for us to visit him and leave him where he is. How have others coped? He enjoys Christmas but finds the grandchildren too noisy usually. xxx


    Sent from my iPad using Talking Point
     
  13. 2jays

    2jays Registered User

    Jun 4, 2010
    11,598
    West Midlands
    #13 2jays, Nov 14, 2015
    Last edited: Nov 14, 2015
    A different normal you have to live once someone is in care.

    They are in care, because that's the most beneficial place for them.

    You are not in care, because that wouldn't be beneficial for you

    To try to mix the two different beneficial scenarios isn't necessarily the right decision

    As hard as it is for you, because in your world, Christmas is for the family to all be together, it isn't the same for the one in care to be with family at Christmas, because they have their own world now.

    Their world is regularity with out the interruptions of Christmas, birthdays, anniversaries, anything to do with day to day living with its many and varied unexpected joys and lows. Their needs are limited. It's hard to squash the guilt monster during these celebrations, because we think logically. As soon as the thinking turns to reality of the different ways of living, the guilt monster has no room to niggle our emotions.

    Yes it would be wonderful FOR YOU ALL AND THE FAMILY to be all together at Christmas. For the person who is in care, I doubt it. It would just be a confusing ordeal.

    Been there, got the T shirt. Neither me or the person in care appreciated the hoped for celebration






    Sent from my iPhone using Talking Point
     
  14. LadyA

    LadyA Registered User

    Oct 19, 2009
    13,540
    Ireland
    Very wise words from 2jays. Last Christmas, when William was in care, I had the same decision, complicated by having to also transport my mum around. So I visited William on Christmas eve, and let him have his normal routine on Christmas day. He had absolutely no clue what it was all about last year - he got presents, but I had to open them for him. He would have found too much deviation from his routine very hard to cope with.
     
  15. Jinx

    Jinx Registered User

    Mar 13, 2014
    2,333
    Pontypool
    Thank you 2Jays and LadyA, I know you're right it's just so hard to accept that things can never be 'normal' again.


    Sent from my iPad using Talking Point
     
  16. LadyA

    LadyA Registered User

    Oct 19, 2009
    13,540
    Ireland
    Yes, I know. Everything in us screams against accepting it, and thinks that if we could only, only, only make things normal again, then everything would somehow be ok. "Magical thinking" a friend of mine calls it. xx
     

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