Teesside Dementia Link Service has developed a number of useful list of things people with dementia can do at home:
Listening is an activity, many people with dementia love company and a chance to chat. What they chat about is not always important, but listening is, never correct facts, if you are being told about an event at a place and you know it took place elsewhere do not correct, the same goes for people or names. Let the person tell their story as they remember it.
Many people can still help with cooking, rubbing in, mixing, slicing, reading recipes, buttering bread, making up sandwiches, giving instructions, remembering what loved ones in their past made. Just sit at the kitchen table and see what they can still do, not what they cannot.
Play much-loved music, see who can guess the name of it first, its best to let the person with dementia win, it helps their feeling of self-worth and achievement. Singing along helps so much with retention of speech and a positive mood.
Puzzles/word searches/jigsaws/cards/dominos all are perfect, again do not stress if its not done right it is the taking part that counts.
Reading out loud
Gossip magazines, cooking magazines, newspapers, poems, short stories, old letters all work well, try and keep to good news. Holiday brochures are excellent, plan a fantasy holiday.
Indoor picnic/posh afternoon tea
We all love an occasion, get the plastic picnic plates and cups or the posh china for afternoon tea.
We went to Scarborough, we won the big Ted on the Bingo, I sent the kids to school on a Saturday! Try to stick to favourites, or funny ones, it does not matter if they are telling it for the 1,000th time, act like it’s the first time you have heard it.
Hand massage/doing nail
Massaging hands is good for men and women too, human contact is important
Make up a memories box
Get a small box and fill with photos, or small things that remind a person of good times, fridge magnets, little keepsakes from travels, old film or theatre tickets, a bingo sheet, old sweet wrappers, newspaper cuttings, pressed flowers.
If a person cannot move around, give them things to dust or polish, you can also reminisce about where the item came from.
Visit www.tdls.org to find out more about Teesside Dementia Link Service and the fantastic work they do.