If an individual with dementia already has some kind of extra support, such as day care or dementia home care, it’s important that this level of stimulation isn’t stopped when they come home.
As their primary carer, there are certain activities you can continue to do at home to help slow down the deterioration of the disease, whilst also keeping them active and engaged. Read on for top tips and advice from leading Devon dementia care specialists at the Ness Care Group…
Engaging activities at home
Arts and crafts – Self-expression is not only a great way to keep spirits high when someone is living with dementia, but is also a useful means to keep them stimulated and interested. Craft activities can be done as a solitary activity or you can join them, here are some that we would recommend:
- Adult colouring-in books – these are all the rage at the moment so they can easily be picked up at your local craft shop or department store. More suited to those with the early stages of dementia and are still able to concentrate.
- Knitting or crochet – this is a great activity as it can be picked up every so often and they’ll see their work come together over time. Or if this is too complex just winding up tangled wool into nice balls, both helpful and therapeutic.
- Creating homemade cards – by giving them all the tools to make their own cards, you can also spark a conversation around who they could give them too, talk about upcoming birthdays for their friends and family members.
All of these activities will allow the individual to focus their mind on being creative, reducing anxiety and fidgeting.
Puzzles – this is another great engaging activity that will keep the individual focused. When choosing a puzzle, consider how difficult or easy it will be for them as you don’t want your loved one getting too frustrated, but at the same time, you want it to be challenging enough that they have the feeling of accomplishment. Start with a 100 piece puzzle and see how they get on.
Reminiscing – there is nothing more satisfying than getting the photo albums out of the loft and reminiscing about the good times. This will hopefully also stir a conversation with the individual to share their memories and life accomplishments whilst also providing a good opportunity to remind them of sounds and songs from their past too. However, reminiscence can be done with objects around the house, and even random pictures cut out of magazines, or off the internet.
Animal therapy – there are many studies on the benefits of pet therapy for those living with dementia. This is something that we do at our day care centre and is always enjoyed by our members, and there is no reason it can’t be done at home too. Did you know that animal therapy also has huge health benefits too? These include:
- Lowering blood pressure
- Reducing heart rate
- Calms anxiety and stress
- Increased levels of serotonin (the happy hormone)
What about activities outside of the home?
Visit a petting zoo or nature park – on the subject of animal therapy, if you or the individual don’t feel comfortable with having animals visit your home, taking them to a petting zoo or farm is a great day out and will be enjoyed by everyone.
Memory cafes – these are dotted all around the UK and have huge benefits for both the carer and individual with dementia.
Just getting some fresh air – a quick trip to the beach, a walk around the park or simply enjoying lunch out in the garden is sometimes all it takes to lift anyone’s mood. But you can take it a step further and engage in mindful walking or sitting feeling leaves, touching the trees, taking both sensory benefit and calming presence of nature.
Need more support?
If you are still stuck with how to keep your loved one engaged and active whilst you are caring for them, our dementia specialists are always happy to offer advice and guidance.
Alternatively, you can visit one of our centres or community locations, where we provide dementia day care and group therapy in the following ways:
- The Ness Hubs – our dedicated dementia wellness hub is open 5 days a week for members to join on a part or full-time basis. Learn more here.
- Active Minds group therapy – Using the NHS recommended treatment called Cognitive Stimulation Therapy, we work with small groups in the early stages of memory loss. Venues across Devon.
Get in contact with the Ness Care Group here or call us on 01626 774799, we also regularly update our blog with more helpful articles, here are some more of our recent ones:
- What you can expect from our home care service >>
- Why are memory cafes important within the community? >>
- Benefits of art therapy for dementia patients >>
You can also follow us on Facebook for regular updates on what our members are getting up to.
Contact us to receive a complimentary consultation. We will discuss your individual situation, treatment options and how you can try our services for free.