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21 May 2018

Ideas For Keeping People With Dementia Occupied

Ideas For Keeping People With Dementia Occupied

As this week is Dementia Action Week 2018, we thought that we would focus on sharing a selection of blog posts that are designed to make life easier for people living with dementia, their loved ones, and their carers. Bearing that in mind, this blog post is designed to focus on the importance of keeping people with dementia occupied while helping them to remain active.

Studies have shown that the key to supporting someone who has dementia and improving their quality of life is ensuring that they remain occupied and are able to stay as active as possible. Even at the later stages of a dementia-related illness, helping to keep people with this condition active and occupied is important for their quality of life.

Why does activity matter?

When we say ‘an activity’ we don’t necessarily mean exercise or staying physically active at all times, we are referring to anything that is performed from the moment that you get up in the morning to when you go to bed at night. For people who have dementia, it’s the job of their loved ones and care team to ensure that they remain as active as they are able to. The fact is that activity is an essential part of human well-being, and even for someone with dementia, staying active can help to ensure that they hold onto their sense of worth and have a purpose to their time. It’s important that when it comes to caring for people with dementia that a range of different activities are offered to help them remain active, engaged and interested in life.

Activity should be part of every day

To help ensure that the care someone with dementia receives is positive, there are steps that can be taken to change a routine task into a more engaging and interesting experience. It’s important that throughout every task, from helping people with dementia to get dressed to helping them to do some colouring, it’s important to provide them with stimulating conversation. What can be highly beneficial is developing a range of activities that stimulate all five senses: sight, sound, touch, taste and smell. As a part of people with dementia’s day, a lot of care teams provide activities that they know will effectively stimulate them. It’s important that when offering these kinds of activities that you record any involvement in them, and how they responded to them, within the person’s care plan.

Creative art classes

For people with dementia, communication can be difficult at times, and when they are unable to express how they are feeling, it can lead to a range of problems, including aggressive and violent outbursts. However, creative art classes can help them to express themselves, allowing them to get all of their emotions out in a creative way. For people with dementia, activities like singing and poetry can be highly effective, who may remember words or other memories when they hear certain songs and poems. People living with dementia also tend to enjoy creative activities such as drama, which is another way that they can express themselves. Art is also a popular form of creative expression, with activities such as colouring and painting among the most popular.

Exercise

Despite living with dementia, exercise should still be a regular part of a person’s regime. The fact is that one of the most vital roles of carers is to promote independence where possible and to be able to do this, you need to ensure that people with dementia remain as physically active as possible. Whether it’s simply taking them for a nice walk at a local park or going for a stroll around the garden, it doesn’t matter. Getting out and about will provide people with dementia with fresh air, and also some much-needed exercise. It’s little things like this that can have a significant impact on the wellness of a person with dementia. Another form of exercise that a lot of people with dementia love is dancing, because of how fun and easy to do it is.

Activity assessments are key

When it comes to determining what approach should be taken to helping to develop activities for people with dementia, using an assessment tool is a great step to take. It’s important that when choosing what activities are right for someone with dementia that you work out what would be best for them specifically, which is where an assessment tool could come in handy. A simple assessment can help you and your team to understand the kinds of activities that would benefit someone who has dementia. For instance, a lot of people with later stage dementia enjoy playing with dolls and models. While people with earlier stage dementia, often enjoy being creative and doing artwork. An assessment can help you to determine which activity would be best for each person with dementia in your care and their specific needs.

Getting family and friends involved

When it comes to ensuring that people with dementia receive the very best care, it’s important to remember that the care they receive is a culmination of the care provided by carers and their family, this is especially true when it comes to the activities in their daily life. Often, friends and family can struggle to know what to do to keep someone with dementia occupied, which can impact their quality of life. Sometimes, family and friends require support from carers when it comes to planning activities to do with their loved one, to help them plan the ideal activities that the person will enjoy getting involved in.

Using technology

When it comes to technology, for people with dementia it can be a highly effective type of activity, as it allows them to entertain themselves in a wide manner of ways. From using creative apps, like colouring apps and painting apps, to listening to music and stories, technology, such as tablets and iPads can be incredibly useful for people living with dementia. Plus, for family members who don’t live near a loved one, technology has meant that communicating has become easier than ever. Technology can enhance these relationships, making it easier for people with dementia to stay in contact with their loved ones, enhancing their happiness and quality of life.

There you have it, a range of ideas for keeping people with dementia occupied and enhancing their quality of life.
 

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