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Guide launched to help include dementia patients in Christmas

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A guide has been published to help support patients with dementia over the festive period, when evidence suggests many are excluded from traditional social gatherings.

The new guide, published today by Alzheimer’s Society and Public Health England, contains tips on how best to support people with dementia at Christmas – both at home and in the community.

From singing traditional songs to having a quiet room set aside at a party, it highlights many ways to include people living with dementia at Christmas time.

The launch of the guide coincides with new study findings from the charity, which suggest many of the 850,000 people in the UK with dementia risk being isolated this Christmas.

A survey of people affected by dementia found 49% of carers believe Christmas is an isolating time for people with the condition and 71% think that a lack of understanding is causing people with dementia to be excluded.

Meanwhile, 63% of people with the condition have found that Christmas invitations have dried up since their diagnosis and 47% admit that their biggest worry is how family and friends will react to unusual behaviour.

“Christmas is usually a time when families get together but people affected by dementia can struggle to take part or get left out altogether”

Jeremy Hughes

Alzheimer’s Society and Public Health England are calling on people to join the half a million individuals who have become “dementia friends” – a scheme designed to help people learn about the small ways they can support someone living with the condition.

Jeremy Hughes, chief executive at Alzheimer’s Society, said: “Christmas is usually a time when families, friends and communities get together but people affected by dementia can struggle to take part or get left out altogether.

“The more people understand about dementia and become dementia friends, the more we can reduce the stigma and enable people living with the condition to feel more confident about taking part in their local community,” he said.

 

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