In light of the current circumstances many people are having to spend more time within the home, and for those living with dementia, it’s important to provide a range of activities which can help boost wellbeing. There are many engaging activities which can be conducted indoors which can help those living with dementia keep busy and help to improve mood. We’ve put together seven activities suitable for those living with dementia which can take place within the home.
Our senses play a big part in our wellbeing, helping to make connections and can often bring about fond memories. Creating a sensory box can be highly beneficial for someone living with dementia as a way to encourage reminiscence and spark conversations.
You can create one box with a mix of items, or perhaps create themed boxes such as ‘by the seaside’ or ‘wedding day’. Each box can contain sensory items which are meaningful such as photographs, perfumes, ticket stubs or even a childhood toy. Pick out each item together and ask gentle questions surrounding it to engage and spark positivity.
Spending increasing time indoors can sometimes lead to a loss of connection with nature. Creating an indoor garden can be a highly rewarding experience for someone living with dementia. Having something to look after and see bloom will provide a sense of accomplishment and help maintain a connection to the outdoors.
Art therapy has been shown to be hugely beneficial for someone living with dementia. Choose an activity which is suited to the person’s abilities and preferences such as colouring, painting or perhaps creating decorations such as bunting. There are a variety of artistic dementia activities which can help bring joy and boost mood.
Putting up the finished products will also help to provide a sense of accomplishment, but it’s important to remember that taking part in the activity is just as important and can provide just as many benefits.
A favoured pastime for many, jigsaws and puzzles are fantastic for someone living with dementia, providing a way to relax and while the hours away. They are excellent for providing cognitive exercise and keeping minds active. Choose a jigsaw which is suited to the person’s abilities and with a reminiscent image which can be used as a conversation starter.
Listening to music or watching a favourite film is highly relaxing and enjoyable for many, young and old. Sitting down to have a sing a long or watch a fond film can be brilliant for boosting mood and aiding in reminiscence. Choose something which is reminiscent of the person’s era, and ask questions surrounding this such as which cinema did you like to go to? Did you like to dance to this song?
These activities can be brilliant conversation starters, and music can even help encourage gentle exercise with dancing.
Baking and cooking are brilliant hobbies and offer fantastic opportunities for someone living with dementia to engage and have fun. Dependent on abilities, the person can be involved in the cooking process, or even just the eating. The sensory element to cooking from the sounds and smells, to the tasting of the finished food can be brilliant for sparking memories, so why not choose a favourite meal to cook together.
This can be a brilliant way to reminisce together and build self-esteem. Putting together a scrapbook can be highly rewarding as each image is placed, why not discuss what it depicts and some fond memories surrounding it. Once the scrapbook is complete, it’s a perfect object to look back on and reminisce together. Alternatively, why not use scanned images, and then you can complete the activity more than once.
There are so many fantastic indoor activities for someone living with dementia which can help provide a variety of wellbeing benefits and bring joy. It’s important to consider each person’s preferences, likes and dislikes to ensure it’s an enjoyable and rewarding activity for all.