A shift in the weather can create a shift in behaviour
The change in season brings a change of behaviour for us all. The autumn and winter seasons trigger shorter days. It means having the heating on, maybe having a hot water bottle at night. We find ourselves wearing different clothes, like jumpers and tackling dressing ourselves in coats, hats, scarves and gloves.
Are you caring for someone with dementia?
It is incredibly important to talk about the seasonal changes because it triggers a change in YOUR behaviour. A sudden change in your own behaviour can trigger additional confusion to the person you are caring for.
You are aware of a new routine because of a change of season. You understand why there is a change to your routine but you must put yourself in the shoes of someone with dementia. They will not have the same concepts of time and logic that you do.
Remember, it will be a shock to suddenly have a new routine without explanation. The days will be shorter with less natural sunlight. The radiators will be on in the house which are hot to the touch. There are more layers of clothing to tackle to ‘keep warm’ and additional items to remember (or forget)!
“Communication is such an important part of caring for someone with dementia, whether you have said something for the first time or the hundredth”.
It’s important that we can live well with the seasons and talk about the seasons changing. Always bear in mind to describe the seasons when you are in your home and out and about.
Ivy House’s Top Tips for How to Live Well with Seasonal Changes and Dementia
Ensure that the house is at a constant temperature
Ensure that the lights are always on in your home and use natural daylight bulbs
Ensure that you allow additional time to get ready when you are leaving the house and returning!
Keeping warm is essential
Caring for someone with dementia (regardless of whether the dementia is mild or severe) can be exhausting. Be kind to yourself. Be mindful of what you are both eating and drinking and remember there is help available. You just need to ask, which can often be the most difficult thing to do.
How Ivy House Can Help You
If you feel you need help and support caring for a loved one with dementia, please contact Ivy House today to see how we can help you with the challenges you are currently facing. We are here to help and support you and your family and friends.