The Alzheimer’s Society has shared some advice on how to include people with dementia during the festival of Diwali.

Religious festivals like Diwali are typically a time for family, feasting, dancing and celebration, however, the charity said it can be difficult to know how to support a loved one with dementia. 

Keeping a few things in mind when organising gatherings or celebrations can help everyone to feel included and enjoy the occasion.
Angelo Makri, Senior Knowledge Officer for Wellbeing from Alzheimer’s Society, offers some advice for a dementia-friendly Diwali.

1.    Create a ‘quiet room’ – Having a house full of people can be overwhelming for people with dementia. Noises from loud music, fireworks and multiple conversations can be confusing, and may cause anxiety. A ‘quiet room’ or space where they can spend quality time with family members includes them in the celebrations in a calmer way.

2.    Plan some Diwali themed activities – Think of the ways the person may have celebrated Diwali in the past and ask them if there is anything they might like to do to celebrate this year. Share photo albums, music and songs that conjure up special memories for them.

3.    Celebratory food and drink – People with dementia may need gentle reminders to eat and drink, particularly if there are other distractions. Think about a small finger buffet of their favourite treats, as a large plate of food can be daunting for a person living with dementia.

4.    Decorating for Diwali – if you are planning to decorate or to move things around for Diwali, try to introduce any changes gradually. Dementia can affect a person’s visual perception, so try to keep your home brightly lit and use good colour contrast. Avoid patterns that might be misunderstood – for example pictures of fruit might be mistaken for actual fruit, and other patterns might be confusing to a person living with dementia. 

5.    Seek out support - Everyone experiences dementia differently and what works for one person might not work for someone else. Whoever you are and whatever you are going through, you can turn to Alzheimer’s Society for confidential support and advice all year round. 
Angelo said:  “Including people with dementia in the Diwali celebrations can evoke happy memories and create new ones, and can really enhance their wellbeing.”
Alzheimer’s Society is here for anyone affected by dementia.

"Their support line (0333 150 3456) provides a translation for callers who do not have English as their language of choice.

"They also provide a number of dementia publications and films in other languages, including Punjabi, Urdu and Hindi. To find out more visit"