Dementia and the importance of meaningful activities
Active Minds Guest Blog – Dementia and the importance of meaningful activities
Meaningful activities are of the utmost importance to those living with dementia.
Dementia can cause people to withdraw from activities and enjoyable interaction with family and friends so it’s important to try and maintain those relationships and interests to help people living with dementia lead a better and more enjoyable quality of life.
There are so many benefits to keeping active and maintaining everyday skills, meaningful activities should be linked to hobbies or interest that the person enjoyed before the diagnosis of dementia.
Creative activities like painting and listening to music can stimulate this part of the brain and help people living with dementia to create a dialogue and express themselves through art.
Painting has been found to help people create this significance in a non-verbal way. The power of imagination can be tapped into and when people pick up a paintbrush, they are actively stimulating their imagination which in turn, can make them feel more connected to the world around them.
There are companies who specialise in providing activities for those living with dementia, such as Active Minds who have a range of painting activities for people of all abilities.
Reminiscence activities, including life story work or memory boxes can also have many benefits. Activities focusing on reminiscence can help improve mood and wellbeing, and promotes social inclusion.
Memory boxes may trigger certain memories and they’re a great way of helping relatives and friends stay connected – it’s important for carers as well as loved ones to show a genuine interest in what the person with dementia is saying and to show that you value their story.
Reminiscence may uncover other unknown activities or interests that the person has previously enjoyed too.
There are also activities that don’t have to cost anything, and can be as simple as helping set the table or joining in with a spot of gardening.
These types of activities can help a person feel connect to normal life and offer an emotional connection with others.
Gentle exercise can help the journey of dementia by helping to improve self-sufficiency, self-confidence and cognition and can also help to build or maintain muscle strength and balance, helping those with dementia maintain their independence for longer.
This HomeTouch guest blog was written in collaboration with Active Minds. Since 2010 Active Minds have been researching, designing and developing activities to improve the quality of life for people living with dementia. Our mission is and will continue to be, to create positive, mindfully designed, human-centred activity products and games to help people lead active lives.