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Activities you can do at home in between your dementia home care and dementia day care visits

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.

You can read our article on all the benefits of art therapy here >>

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:

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.

What you can expect from our dementia home care service

Dementia home care is a popular alternative to day centres or nursing/care homes. For many elderly people, this will be the first introduction to a care service and is best started in the early stages of living with dementia. This allows the person living with dementia to get used to people outside immediate family working with them, if you don’t engage external services until late in the dementia pathway then it is far harder to engage the individual and to gain their trust. Learn more about early intervention here >>

If home care is something you are considering for your loved one, in this article, we explain a bit more about our dementia home care service, the benefits of home care and how we can introduce you to our team of expert staff.

How does dementia home care work?

Atlas Care is unique in being able to take the tried and tested therapies they use in their meeting centres into the homes of individuals with the aim of maintaining independence and slowing disease progress. However, all providers of home care services will work closely with the individual to ensure that they are receiving the care and attention that they require. Home care for dementia patients should always work on a bespoke plan, so no 2 individuals will receive the exact same experience. Each person’s experience of dementia is unique and requires a unique perspective.

Whilst the majority of the care is done in the persons’ home, a good carer will also incorporate day trips into their sessions with the individual. Day trips provide many benefits including the opportunity for reminiscence, reduction in sun-down syndrome, confidence-boosting and health benefits when spending time outdoors.

What are the benefits of getting dementia help at home?

In the early diagnosis of dementia, some individuals don’t want to feel like they have lost their independence, and will still want to live their normal life and follow the same routines. Dementia home care can help ensure that this still happens, and provides some of the following benefits:

  • Support in the individual’s own home provides a more familiar environment reducing the risk of disorientation or confusion
  • Ensures that the individual is focusing on their health and wellbeing
  • Can provide them with a bespoke activity plan to ensure they stay active and social
  • Provides extra support for family members
  • Allows individuals to become comfortable with the support of strangers and care professionals so that as the disease progresses they are more open to outside help.
  • Slows down the deterioration of the disease using memory techniques and therapy sessions

What can I expect from the 1st meeting?

The first meeting with one of our home assessors should be relaxed and informal, it is not about care but about building a friendship or trusting relationship. Ideal home support is when both enabler and the individual form a fun bond and enjoy their time together. The assessment should also be a time for family to validate the person visiting so that the individual living with dementia feels confident and will accept future visits. Finally, this first visit also provides our staff with the opportunity to assess them and the level of support they require more closely.

Our expert home carers will explain the therapies they may use when visiting and how a good relationship is created in more detail and also other options such as dementia day care, which can prevent the deterioration of the disease.

How often should my loved one receive home care?

This depends on two elements… is the home enablement designed to offer respite to a family care giver or to improve the individual’s quality of life? If the aim is to offer some much needed rest and respite to the informal care giver then the home service may need to be frequent and last several hours to offer meaningful rest (in these cases the person with dementia maybe be in the later stages). These visits could be anything from 2 hours everyday to 3 visits a week lasting a half or whole day.

However, if the desired outcome is to offer the individual living with dementia more independence and social connection, improving their quality of life and offering mental stimulation. Then the visits could be more targeted (i.e 1 hour on a Wednesday to visit the museum) or 2 hours once a week to do some exercise and work through some games for cognitive stimulation. Often the individual in these cases might be earlier in their diagnosis.

This is sometimes paired with other levels of care too, such as visits to memory cafes, classes (such as our Ness Shed pottery classes) or full day sessions (like the ones we hold at The Ness Dementia Centre). Our expert enablers will be able to recommend the best level of care for your loved one.

Home care, day centre or care home – which option is best?

This is very much down to care needs of the individual and their personal preferences. In some cases, it just isn’t feasible for someone living with dementia to stay living in their own home, which is when a dementia care home will need to be considered. However, a misconception in dementia care is that the individual needs no specialist support and can do without home care or day care.

It is recommended that in all cases and as early as possible individuals should link with a home service, a day service and a memory café. The risk is that if this doesn’t happen the individual and family quickly become isolated, the disease can deteriorate and later in the journey it becomes harder for care professionals to engage with the individual. Personality, social background and the unique progression of the disease should direct the family towards a type of support. For example, an extrovert personality may enjoy group activities more than 1:1 support, while someone who enjoys a specific hobby but needs someone to support them to continue may benefit from home care.

Who will care for my loved one at home?

All the home enablers at Atlas Respite and Therapy are professionally trained and have experience working with those living with dementia of all stages.

Our expertise allows us to be best placed in providing a care plan, which will incorporate many dementia techniques, therapies and treatments, such as:

  • Cognitive Stimulation Therapy (CST)
  • Art & music therapy
  • Validation therapy

Many of the pioneering treatments we use are also used in our day centres, which you can find out more about in this article here.

How do I book a home visit?

If you are looking to arrange help for a loved one at home, we would be happy to discuss a date and time for one of our carers to pop over for an initial visit. This will be free of charge and will allow you and your loved one to ask any questions they have before committing to any arrangement.

Call our team on 01626 774 799 or contact us here. If you would like to learn more about our dementia home care service, click here or keep up to date by following us on Facebook.

The importance of early intervention when looking for dementia respite care near me

Although there is, unfortunately, no cure yet for dementia, there are many studies around how you can slow down the deterioration caused by the disease. At our dementia respite care centres, our aim is to work with the individual to provide the best possible plan for them to slow down the negative effects. This is a much easier process if respite and therapy are provided in the early stages.

Read on to find out the importance of early intervention when caring for individuals with dementia.

How can I spot the signs of dementia?

Many people believe that dementia is just linked with memory loss, however, it’s much more than this and can also have an effect on individuals’;

  • Mental health
  • Speech
  • Thoughts and behaviors
  • Confidence

Aging is inevitable, and sometimes with this comes memory loss, but not everyone who suffers from memory loss is diagnosed with dementia. Here are some other common early signs of the disease:

  • A sudden change in mood
  • Confusion or lack of focus
  • Lack of orientation and direction
  • Change in language, including repeating themselves

If you spot any of these in your loved one, it’s important to visit your GP as soon as possible, as they may be able to diagnose the disease early.

Benefits of early intervention

Many people are so scared of the disease that they won’t get a diagnosis, but in fact, dementia doesn’t mean they’ll lose all their independence or self-worth. Getting the right support early will help both the individual and those around them deal with it in the best possible way and allow them to get the help required to slow it down.

Our dementia respite care centre provides the following benefits:

  • Improved confidence and social interaction
  • Increased physical movement
  • Improved well-being

Dementia research around early intervention…

Research is constantly being completed around early intervention and the effect it has on dementia. The Alzheimer’s Society UK has released some of the following interesting statistics;

There has been a 56% rise in the number of people diagnosed with dementia from 2010/11 to 2015/16. – This means more people are getting an earlier diagnosis and seeking help and support sooner. Read more about the number of people diagnosed here.

85% of people want to stay at home as long as possible after a diagnosis of dementia, 47% think they would be able to – With the support of our dementia day centres and our dementia home care scheme, this is made possible for many.

36% of carers spend more than 100 hours per week caring for a person with dementia. – We can lighten the load from carers by providing flexible care during the weekdays. Some only require care at our centres 1 or 2 times a week, whilst others prefer to visit more often.

How we create a bespoke plan for each individual

No two individuals will live with dementia in the same way, and that’s why a ‘one size fits all’ approach doesn’t work for our members. Instead, we establish their needs early on to work out the best plan to support them.

For some members, social communication may be lacking so we will put them in a safe and comforting environment to help them improve on this.

At The Ness Dementia Centre, each room has been designed with someone living with dementia in mind, the colours and shapes we use within the decor can have a huge impact and all of this has been taken into consideration.

Looking for dementia respite care near me?

With our centre based in Teignmouth, South Devon, we are suited for individuals looking for dementia care within a 10 – 20 mile radius, we also offer a pickup service from some locations to take the pressure off the main carer.

If your loved one is looking for dementia care now, regardless of what stage they are in, we offer a free trial for both our main centre and The Ness Shed, which offers short classes throughout the week. Alternatively, take a look at our memory cafes and dementia home care services.

Get in touch with our team to book a free trial by calling us on 01626 774 799 or emailing us on [email protected].

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