As humans we all enjoy a sense of purpose and the ability to enjoy ourselves during the day. It is no different for a person who is living with dementia. We still need to ensure that happiness and motivation are a part of life.
Keeping an active social life is key to helping someone with dementia remain positive. Taking part in activities may improve self-esteem and reduce loneliness.
Examples of activities that a carer and person with dementia can undertake together:
– Joining a club where people share similar interests
– Doing something creative
– Gentle exercise
– Walking and enjoying the surroundings
– Gym classes
– Meeting up with friends
If you care for someone who has dementia, a shared activity can also give you a chance to do something that makes both of you happier and able to enjoy quality time together.
If the person living with dementia has become withdrawn, you may want to explore different ways of connecting with them. One idea is trying ways to remembering the past in a happy way, such as visiting a favourite place or putting together a memory box.
A multisensory approach to interacting is particularly important when someone has advanced dementia. This is because bright colours, interesting sounds and tactile objects can all catch the attention in a way that other activities, such as making conversation or reading, may not any more.
Popular in some Aged Care Facilities is the creation of a sensory garden for the residents. They are usually wheelchair-friendly and with carefully chosen plants and flowers to attract local wildlife. A sensory garden is a garden or other plot designed to provide visitors with different sensory experiences. For example, a sensory garden may feature:
- scented and edible plants
- sculptures and sculpted handrails
- water features that residents can hear and touch
- textured touch-pads
- magnifying glass screens
- Braille and audio induction loop descriptions
Sensory gardens can benefit older adults by encouraging them to spend more time outside. Their design and layout aim to provide a stimulating journey through the senses, heightening a person’s awareness of what’s around them.