1. Helly68

    Helly68 Registered User

    Mar 12, 2018
    Sirena - that's good advice. I think our best gift so far as a cushion my sister had printed with a photo of her grandchildren. I think Mummy did vaguely realise who they were and it was a great talking point with the staff. We also do clothes, plants for her room and toiletries. Cake all round on her birthday, just before xmas - I try to make enough for all resident and staff.
  2. Sirena

    Sirena Registered User

    Feb 27, 2018
    The cushion is a lovely idea, Helly.
    I bought my mother a potted plant for her room when she was first there, but it ended up either parched or drenched and expired, so I thought it was kindest not to repeat the experience!
  3. DesperateofDevon

    DesperateofDevon Registered User

    Jul 7, 2019
    Dads birthday in November meant us opening the resents for him, the carers blowing out candles on a cake he couldn’t eat, & a feeling of deep sadness. So I’m getting him a small potted Christmas tree & decorating it. ta dah!
  4. Feistywoman

    Feistywoman Registered User

    Aug 11, 2018
    Crikey, looks like we’re all in the same boat! I had anticipated bringing my Mum to my home on Christmas Day but now I’m not so sure.
    It was her birthday yesterday and I went in the morning, took gifts, just a fleece and trousers but she didn’t really understand though she said the fleece was very soft. I persuaded her to come out for lunch and drove her to the local garden centre, she then refused to get out the car and just wanted ‘to get back’. My Mum doesn’t know she’s in a care home, thinks she’s at a club and when I leave sometimes asks to be dropped off.....my lying finesse is second to none!
    Selfishly I’d love to have her with me but I’m going to take the advice of the care home staff and see what they think would be in her best interest.

    Thankfully I gave up booze 4 years ago, I’d have been ****** for most of this year otherwise!
  5. annielou

    annielou Registered User

    Sep 27, 2019
    Sorry no helpful advice. Its all very hard to know whats best to do to please everyone at the best of times at Christmas, but add the unwanted guest dementia and its impossible.
    Our last two christmases have been pretty rubbish, though not really dementia related. Two years ago in laws were coming for day as well as my mum. which mum wasnt too happy about as mum doesnt like FIL and in laws and mum have different ideas on times to eat etc. We were just starting to notice mums symptoms at that time. Mum was starting to get mixed up and forget things as well as rather grumpy and opinionated so hubby and I were rather nervous about it.
    Then hubby got a stomach bug a few days before christmas and mum had flu and upset tummy too, so in the end in laws had day at home, mum stayed home and hubby and I had a very bland small dinner then in afternoon went to mums for couple of hours to check she was ok and take her pressies.
    Last year mum had UTI that she only went to gps about on christmas eve after several weeks of pain. On way out of doctors going to pharmacy I ran to catch zebra crossing and mum ran too and fell scabbing her knees and hands. So she was shook up n not feeling well on christmas eve. Luckily besides a bit of scabbing and bruising she was ok after the fall but on antibiotics and still in pain with the UTI. We picked her up bout half ten on Christmas day then went back to ours for pressies, lunch and had a quiet day, taking her home after tea.
    This year I don't want Christmas. I have been trying to summon up some enthusiasm but cant. Buying presents cards etc has been awkward with mum as we cant shop without and with her is hard work to concentrate watch and entertain her and has to be done in pretty short trips now compared to before. I'm dreading the big supermarket shop as I usually spend all the weekly trip directing mum and hubby has to do most of ours so no idea how I'm going to shop for Christmas dinner and manage mum.
    I'm staying at mums at mo and will no doubt still be here at Christmas so that will be first time not waking up on Christmas day with hubby :( no doubt hubby will come pick us up and we'll go back to our house where I'll have to prep Christmas dinner and get it in before we open presents, which mum will probably ask questions and forget whats whose and who bought what throughout. Then I'll go back to making dinner with mum alternating between moaning bored because I'm not giving her attention and offering to help but not. Then we'll watch things mum can manage to watch with her moaning it rubbish or used to be good or saying she never watches it until evening when hubby will bring me and mum back to hers and then he'll go back home on his own :( He's going to hate it and resent it and so will I.
    He's already upset because I cant think of anything to put on my wish list for him to buy me. There doesnt seem any point putting usual books dvds cds craft things on it that I usually ask for as I dont get chance to do them now.
    He won't be able to have a drink as he'll be driving us back and forth, not that either of us are big drinkers, but would usually have a drink with lunch and in evening on christmas eve and christmas day.
    I feel bad for him as its not going to be much of a Christmas for him
  6. fizzie

    fizzie Registered User

    Jul 20, 2011
    If someone is at home with family my best advice is to have them mark out a quiet spot perhaps in a quieter corner of the same room so that they can observe, with their own things around them - a fiddle blanket, some headphones and music (blocks out all the frantic activity), maybe a magazine or some folding (serviettes or hankies) to do. Tell the family this is her quiet space. Then when the tiredness sets in there is somewhere to retreat to on the edge of the noise and clatter
  7. Gillywilly

    Gillywilly Registered User

    Sep 21, 2018
    I can see why you are anxious about Christmas Day and all those happy family adverts are ****. It’s not all happy families I don’t know if you are doing this all by yourself but if you are then good on you you are doing your best to support your father. I know it must be upsetting listening to him saying he wants a new wife but remember he doesn’t know what he is saying a lot of the time. I would just go by how your dad is on Christmas Day and if he is to distressed just take him home. Try and have a nice Christmas
  8. Witzend

    Witzend Registered User

    Aug 29, 2007
    SW London
    Will he even be aware that it's Christmas, or be bothered about it?

    For a couple of years before she was bad enough to need a care home, my mother wasn't aware that it was Christmas - even when there were crackers on the table, etc. She would wonder why we were giving her presents and TBH could barely be bothered to open them. We took turns to go to go to her, then, but once she was in her care home we would just visit fairly briefly on Christmas morning - luckily the home was close to me. She was even less aware then - despite the lovely tree and decorations the CH always put up.
  9. davidsitges

    davidsitges Registered User

    Apr 26, 2018
    @Champers is right, @Sirena is right. Christmas does not mean that same in a Care Home. They will have decorations and cards and realize that something is happening but gifts won't mean anything and the idea of going home for one day would be terribly confusing. Chocs for staff is a good idea so thanks for that suggestion.
    Yes, I will visit my OH in his CH on Christmas day but I visit every day, so it will just be another. Then I'll come home for cava (Not Prosecco, I live in Spain!) and hopefully I'll find some mince pies. All carers must have treats - it should be obligatory!!! Comfort and joy to you all.
  10. imthedaughter

    imthedaughter Registered User

    Apr 3, 2019
    I won't be in the area but as Dad always hated Christmas, doesn't know what day it is or if it is night or day at the moment I don't think it makes a difference. Dad stopped 'doing' Christmas a few years ago. I think if I was nearby I might visit, but not for long. Last time my brother tried to take him out, he was disorientated, insisted on having lunch at 11am and said he felt dizzy. Turned out he was not poorly, just very confused. However we are going to attempt a panto outing, which may be a terrible idea. But we are determined to try!
  11. Sarasa

    Sarasa Registered User

    Apr 13, 2018
    We’re taking mum out for a very early afternoon tea a couple of days after Christmas. She doesn’t like a lot of food but cake always goes down well so it seemed better to do that than go for a proper lunch. I’m not sure when to give her her presents. I’m seeing her on Saturday, but then probably not till we go out for the tea. She doesn’t seem to have twigged it’s Christmas at all so I don’t think there is much point in wrapping things up for her to open on the day.
  12. Grahamstown

    Grahamstown Registered User

    Jan 12, 2018
    East of England
    I shall be very surprised if our Christmas Day is not exactly the same as any other day. He will not know much about what we are celebrating and spend his time as usual sleeping, dozing and then watching TV, not interested in eating, going out or doing anything. Now that it is nearly upon us, I don’t mind, it’s the weeks before that tend to get me down, all the wishes for a happy Christmas and jollity, forced or otherwise. I have a few decorations, sent my cards, bought, wrapped the presents, ordered the food and done the best I can in the circumstances. Now I just hope for good weather, a Christmas walk alone and be glad when the whole holiday season is over again. He is so bad now that a quiet life is best. At least he is sweet tempered gentle and sort of compliant with persuasion. Fond memories of Christmas’s past will have to do.
  13. Sirena

    Sirena Registered User

    Feb 27, 2018
    I was wondering whether to wrap my mother's presents this year. I decided I would, because I will visit her on Christmas Eve and then leave the presents for her to open on Christmas Day. The senior carer suggested I leave the presents in her wardrobe so the carer doing her personal care in on Christmas morning can open them with her - so really it's for the carer and the 'occasion', my mother won't have a clue what's happening.
  14. Grahamstown

    Grahamstown Registered User

    Jan 12, 2018
    East of England
    This is exactly how I feel and since he is at home with me and I can call the shots I shall enjoy it as best I can without any unnecessary activities. I don’t mind, I have told my darling daughter to go with her family to her in-laws who are also ill with physical things. My son offered to have us but the thought of taking my husband in his condition to see him and four children fills me with dismay. It would be a nightmare and I have had them all here for a family gathering and that’s enough. My husband was included but bewildered and has forgotten all about it.
  15. Sirena

    Sirena Registered User

    Feb 27, 2018
    It is nice your son offered though isn't it - you know you are welcome if you want to go, although I understand why you don't want to. I think I'd choose the same option, having a quiet day and setting the tone that suits you best.
  16. Helly68

    Helly68 Registered User

    Mar 12, 2018
    My only advice here is that, sadly, things change. 2 years ago, my Mum came home from her CH to our xmas dinner - something I really wanted. It worked, but only just. I was a nervous wreck and I think she was also unsettled. This year I am spending time with my partner and my father, who has been very depressed and will see my mother over the christmas period but not on christmas day. I can't please everyone and for Mummy, sadly, one day is very much like another. I don't wrap her presents any more, as she finds this very confusing but she does like colourful things and soft fluffy texture.
    I *hope* to find some time for myself in all this.....but realise I am luckier than many others.
  17. Rosalind297

    Rosalind297 Registered User

    Oct 14, 2017
    A very interesting thread. My brother and sister-in-law are hosting Christmas Day as per usual this year. With the CH blessing, I shall pick Mum up at 11, take her the 4 miles (no doubt answering all the way “does Mum know where I am?”) where she will be welcomed with a roaring open fire and Christmas crooners, which she loves ( did you know that NO-ONE loves music as much as her? True, apparently ;)). There will just be the four of us, I, at 64, am the youngest.

    We have re-arranged the routine this year with a handful of presents prior to lunch, then a lunch for the four of us and then I will take her back to the CH at about 3pm and will sit with her for an hour or so to get her acclimatised again.

    Mum has only been in care for 5 weeks and we had Sunday lunch at brother’s most weeks for years so I am hoping it won’t feel too alien. She is still quite lively physically, eats well and there shouldn’t be anything too challenging for her. We also know that this will be the last time we will be able to do this. Obviously things could go wrong, particularly when I take her back to the CH, but we’re going to give it a go.

    An early Merry Christmas to you all.
  18. Dootee

    Dootee Registered User

    Mar 8, 2016

    You are not alone. We all seem to be in the same old boat. Deep breaths help. And find a safe zone (normally the bathroom) to breathe deep for a few minutes to yourself.

    My mum (pwd) doesn't like too much noise too many people chatting so I make sure we lower our voices and keep it calm (hard to do I know). Doesn't like the tv either but does love strictly and the dancing

    How about arranging shifts with family members to sit with dad? 15 minute shifts where he has total dedication with one to one family member? Everyone takes a turn? I say this cos i know how hard it is and its draining to constantly be on care duty. Good luck.... I'm always glad when it's over much love xx

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