Tamar Krebs, Founder of Group Homes Australia, shares her expert tips on how to cope with Christmas planning if a loved one is ill, older or has dementia.
She is available through the month for interviews to help people approach the festive season optimistically. Tamar would like people to create cherished family memories with loved ones who have dementia, are elderly or sick. She also encourages society to invite people who are older, have dementia or who may be lonely this Christmas.
1. Approach The Festive Season differently.
Offer to cook if your loved one used to do the cooking. Order food if you cannot cook or get family members to pitch in and bring dishes.
2. Think about changing the location.
Instead of eating in, head to the beach for a picnic lunch or have a BBQ at a beautiful park.
3. Don’t focus on how things used to be.
Create new memories and live in the moment. Celebrate what your loved ones can do rather than what they can no longer do.
4. Do not waste energy worrying if your loved one will be around next Christmas.
Enjoy that they are around this Festive Season. Tell them how much you love them and how happy you are to spend Christmas with them. Take photos and savour the moment.
5. Make Christmas is a time for reminiscing.
Looking at old photo albums or mementos is a very powerful tool to help remind that person of who they are, what they were capable of, and what makes them unique, rather than just being a person who is living with a diagnosis of dementia or an illness.
6. Not everyone has family around to help care for them.
Suicide rates peak at this time of year as it can be an incredibly lonely and isolating experience if you are not surrounded by friends and family. If you know someone who is living with dementia or an older Australian who will be alone this Christmas, please reach out to them and include them in your celebrations.
For further advice or tips from Tamar please email [email protected]