Lighting candles for Diwali

How to have a dementia-friendly Diwali

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

Diwali is celebrated over five days, and this year the main celebration falls on Sunday 12 November. Keeping a few things in mind when organising gatherings or celebrations can help everyone to feel included and enjoy the occasion.

Five simple tips for a dementia-friendly Diwali

1. Create a 'quiet room'

Having a house full of people can be overwhelming for someone with dementia. Noises from loud music, fireworks and multiple conversations can be confusing, and may cause anxiety.

A ‘quiet room’ or space to 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. 

This article was first published in 2018 and updated in October 2023.

Dementia information in Punjabi (ਪੰਜਾਬੀ)

Learn more about dementia in our Punjabi (ਪੰਜਾਬੀ) resources (in Gurmukhi script).

Learn about dementia


My question is that is there any medication that can possibly slow down the onset of the father had it and until he was put into a facility l was his caretaker so l am somewhat familiar with the symptoms and l do see some of them in myself. How do l know if mine is age related or the beginning of the illness. I am 70 yrs old and very concerned 😧

Hi Barbara, thanks for getting in touch. It sounds like you're going through a worrying time. Please know that you are not alone, and we're here to help.

If you're based in the UK, we'd recommend calling our Dementia Connect support line on 0333 150 3456. Our advisers can listen to your situation and give information, advice and support relevant to you. More details on the support line and other methods of contact can be found at

You might also benefit from joining our online community, Talking Point. This is the ideal place for carers and other people affected by memory loss and dementia to share their personal experiences and offer advice and support to others going through similar situations. You can browse the conversations within the community or sign up for free:

In the meantime, we do have information on our website that you might find helpful:

In particular, here's a page called 'Is it getting older, or dementia?'

If you are worried that your symptoms could be signs of dementia, use our checklist to help describe your symptoms to a GP or health professional:

We hope this is useful for now, Barbara. Please do talk to the GP, or call the support line for more information and advice.

Alzheimer's Society website team

I work as a dementia champion and work in a care home