We've noticed in recent weeks the growing coverage of how keeping active can help people with a dementia to reconnect to lost parts of themselves. Here's our Top 5 selection of how you can help, in no particular order.
Anyone for Tennis?
Table tennis that is! A Warwickshire based charity which runs two care homes has introduced table tennis as a therapy to promote mobility and exercise.
Music For The Soul
In this video you can see (and probably feel) how much reconnecting with the sound of music and the feel of the piano helped this former jazz pianist.
Sensory stimulation has been shown to help lower levels of agitation and restlessness in people who have a dementia and this is just one of many examples where music has helped.
Swimming for the Senses
Ripley Leisure Centre in Derbyshire, has just set up Dementia Friendly swimming, the first such sessions offered in Derbyshire. This is sure to be a powerful method to help those who have a dementia reconnect with their past memories and sense of self.
For further information or would just like to have a look at our facilities at Ripley Leisure Centre, call 01773 514 727 or email [email protected]"
A Cup of Tea
New research from Exeter Medical School supports a theory that we have known for a long time, spending 1 hour socially with a person with a dementia helps reduce agitation and promotes a better quality of life. Take a cup of tea with a loved one and spend an hour with them.
Rummage Boxes and Games
Themed Memory Boxes, also called rummage boxes, are ideal to help people reminisce and participate in an activity. Enjoy interacting with the person you care for, handle and investigate the artefacts to encourage movement and social interaction for well-being. Rummage boxes cover selections such as baking, gardening and World War II plus more topics.
Games can be more interactive, including "throw and tell" balls, sorting boxes and empathy dolls. The "throw and tell" ball acts as a gentle way to introduce new people to each other, including carers and activity coordinators. Sorting boxes give a point of focus which helps reduce agitation and boredom and promote conversation.
That's its for our list, is there an activity you've introduced and found helpful? We'd love to hear about it.