At Trinity Homecare, we are firm believers that a person can live well with Dementia. Since we work so closely with the Alzheimer’s society and are Dementia Champions, we want to offer plenty of advice surrounding the disease and offer support through useful tips and advice surrounding the best dementia activities.
When a loved one is diagnosed with Dementia, it can be pretty daunting. Whilst a diagnosis may lead to changes around lifestyle and routine, having Dementia doesn’t mean your loved one has to stop their usual hobbies and interests that they enjoy. There are a number of activities for the elderly with dementia that can help you on your journey throughout life.
At Trinity, we encourage those living with Dementia or Alzheimer’s to stay engaged through activities that will keep them mentally stimulated. Lack of mental stimulation and boredom can lead to other health-related issues such as irritability, anxiety, and depression – but we know it’s entirely possible to live a happy life with dementia. Take a look at our 10 stimulating Dementia activities that you can get stuck into with your loved one.
Stimulating Dementia activities
When it comes to choosing what activity will suit your loved one best, aim for something that will allow them to reminisce about their life, evoking warm memories. Participate in activities that will allow them to express themselves and offer an emotional outlet. As a natural instinct, many of us will try to do as much as we can for those living with Dementia. Whilst your loved one may need support from time to time, allow them to keep as much of their independence as possible and help them feel productive.
Trinity’s Top 10 activities for those with Dementia and Alzheimer’s
Alongside any activities or hobbies that they are usually interested in, why not try some of these activities we have recommended below.
1. Keeping socially active
First in our list of dementia activities is staying in contact with people. This will boost your loved one’s confidence and overall wellbeing and help them know they have people there. Whether it be a phone call with friends or having lunch with a close relative, having regular contact and communication with others is an important aspect of living well with Dementia.
When meeting up with family and friends, they can enjoy some of the activities they would usually enjoy, or they can take up new ones, such as the ones we have listed below.
2. Exercise, physical activity and moving around
Exercise has numerous benefits for those living with dementia. Even an occasional walk has proven to help with sleep, boosting a person’s mood, and slowing down the onset of depression. Another stimulating dementia activity surrounds physical activities such as water aerobics, walking, fishing, and dancing are all great ways to help with some of the effects of Dementia.
3. Listening to music
Music has proven to evoke emotional responses, as well as soothe and stimulate people mentally. Playing music from a time that your loved one would remember will also allow them to reminisce. Why not create a playlist of their favourite songs or print lyrics off so that they can sing along?
Music is proven to have great effects of those living with the condition, so when you’re considering activities for the elderly living with dementia – play a favourite tune that you know your loved one will enjoy. If it provokes a positive reaction, this can make a real positive difference to the enjoyment of their day.
4. Creative activities
Creative activities such as painting, knitting and colouring are highly therapeutic and easily allows your loved ones to express themselves. Some arts and crafts also offer sensory stimulation, something that is proven to be beneficial for those living with Dementia.
We recommend participating in creative activities as much as possible to ensure that your loved one boosts their cognitive function by doing the things they enjoy.
5. Puzzles for Dementia
Puzzles are a great way to keep our brains stimulated. Why not try out an easy puzzle with your loved one or complete a word search or crossword together? If they aren’t as keen on the idea, you can always do one yourself and ask for help. This will make them feel useful and productive.
6. Reading a book
Why not purchase a book for your loved one that details a very familiar place to them? Reading historical books can help your loved one remember their past. You could even buy an autobiography of their favourite actor/actress or simply by a fiction book that they can get stuck into. Dependent on their capabilities, they can read the book with you, alone, or via an audiobook. Using a downloadable programme such as Audible will help you find all the books that you are looking for and more.
7. Baking and Cooking
Baking cakes and cooking dinner is a great way of staying occupied – plus, who doesn’t love a mouth-watering cake? Not only will it allow them to do something fun for an hour or two, but they can enjoy a homemade, nutritious meal or treat at the end of it! BBC good food share some delicious and easy recipes that you can access with ease. Embrace your inner chef with your loved one to see if they reignite their love in the kitchen.
8. Visit a garden centre or a local park
Although current circumstances make this difficult, getting in touch with nature can bring a lot of calmness and help us remember the more positive things in life. Once it is deemed safe to do so, why not visit a local park or the garden centre? If the weather is nice, it will make a very cheap and cheerful day out. Just ensure you stay protected through the use of hand sanitisers and a face mask where necessary.
9. House-work and domestic tasks
Most of us dread house-work but it can actually help our brains stay stimulated. Organising the fridge to make sure all the food is fresh or simply running the hoover round can be very impactful and productive. It will also give your loved one a sense of purpose. As long as it poses no danger to your loved one, get creative! A simple sweep and shine is a proven dementia activity that can help enrich the lifestyle of those with dementia.
10. Dementia Cafes
These days, there are loads of social groups and thankfully plenty of “Dementia cafes”. You can join these through charities such as Age UK. At Trinity Homecare we also run our own Dementia cafe, where family and friends can join one another to listen to music, drink coffee and spark up an interesting conversation. Get in touch with us if you wish to find out more about our Dementia cafe.
Why are dementia activities important?
Dementia activities and gentle exercise can help those who are living with dementia access a higher standard of life. By improving various different lifestyle aspects such as self-confidence and improved self-esteem, mental cognition, physical capability and more.
Although dementia can make life more difficult, through regularly stimulating your mind, body and soul, those with dementia are able to better maintain independence for longer. Small steps on a daily basis can help you live the life you want to live.
Get specialist Dementia support today
Supporting a loved one or relative with Dementia can be extremely tough. At Trinity Homecare, we have over 20 years’ experience supporting individuals with Dementia and have specialist knowledge and expertise. Whether you need a couple of visits a week or full-time Live-in care, get in touch today or book a free, no-obligation call with one of our care consultants.