Most people think of forgetfulness and confusion when they think about dementia but not many consider other challenges such as loneliness, isolation and lack of stimulation. Making sure there is activity in a person with dementia’s life can help them to feel stimulated, connected and engaged, productive and purposeful. Whose responsibility is activity for a person with dementia? In many care homes there is a designated activity co-ordinator, someone who works 10-2 a few days a week. But, what about activity at other times? What if the person still lives in their own home? How can we ensure they have fun and can take part in meaningful activities?
It is everyone’s responsibility to promote interaction and enhance wellbeing for people living with dementia. Everyday tasks such as folding laundry, laying the table and making the bed can be purposeful activities that encourage personal memories and conversation. To only see dementia is like looking at a person’s shadow and not talking to them. Within my role as Dementia Action Alliance Coordinator, I love the fact I can help influence the community to take on the challenge of dementia and help reduce the stigma. We should always remember what came first – the person, not the dementia. Life does not stop when dementia begins.
Being active can help to improve quality of life and general wellbeing, as well as having health benefits. Exercising can relieve symptoms of anxiety and depression. Group activities can give a sense of belonging and stop people from feeling isolated. It is believed that mental stimulation can help slow down the progression of dementia. If you care for someone who has dementia, a shared activity can give you the chance to do something that makes both of you happier and able to enjoy quality time together.
This is why Medway Dementia Action Alliance wants to showcase the amazing wealth of talents that exist in our community and beyond to amuse, engage and entertain people living with dementia. The Living Well with Dementia event is to provide an understanding of just what people living with dementia CAN do, the importance of meaningful activity and how you can make a difference. It is free to attend and ideal for anyone with a connection or interest in dementia. Whether you are living with dementia, caring for someone or providing dementia services, you will want to see how to plan and create exciting and meaningful activities.
I look forward to seeing you at the King Charles Hotel on 19th May. Click here to find out more or call me on 01622 747 181.