19th Jan 2017
There are varying types of activities that can add much enjoyment and stimulation to a person who’s living with a form of Dementia, as well as helping to keep them as active and independent as possible.
Activities can be split into four different categories: Creative, Social, Physical and Intellectual but many of our suggestions at least two of these categories at once. When planning an activity, it is important that it’s tailored to the stage of dementia that your loved one is at. These activities should be therapeutic and achievable rather than frustrating, making it good fun for all involved.
Creative activities help to tap into an individual’s imagination and there is no right or wrong answer where art is involved. Painting is a wonderful way to express emotions and can be hugely engaging, playdough or salt dough are also fantastic, allowing a focus on textures with the added bonus of giving the hands and fingers a workout! All the materials are relatively cheap and easy to get hold of, you can even make your own playdough.
Social Activities are hugely valuable to everyone and if you are affected by a form of Dementia it is just as important! If you’re a carer it’s important to make sure you socialise with others too. There are many community activities specifically run to support people with Dementia and their carers, we offer many tailored activities in our Day Care in Golborne, Wigan. Other ideas may be taking a loved one to visit a friend or neighbour or perhaps a trip to see a favourite play or a concert?
Physical activities can help people remain independent for as long as possible in their own home and also helps to lift the spirits by releasing endorphins. A gentle walk in the fresh air can be invigorating, and if that isn’t possible how about some armchair aerobics? There are some great videos on YouTube for this if you’re not sure where to start. A game of catch with an inflatable beach ball can be done at home and is light and easy to see, similarly a game of carpet skittles can be fun and engaging.
Intellectual Activity is thought to contribute to slowing down the progression of some forms of Dementia’s and so a loved one living with mild to moderate stage dementia may enjoy the mental challenge of a crossword, word search or another puzzle. It is important that puzzles provided are achievable and don’t lead to feelings of frustration and disappointment if not completed. Other activities to stimulate the mind are looking at family photographs and reminiscing about events, following a simple recipe and baking something or looking at and sharing favourite books.
We’ve included links to a simple shortbread recipe as well as the instructions to making playdough in case you’d like to try it out. The most important thing about providing activities is that quality time is spent together and everyone has fun!