By Active Minds
As a person progresses along their dementia journey, their needs and capabilities may change, but this doesn’t mean they can’t still enjoy taking part in activities. Although these activities may have to be adapted to ensure they are suitable and engaging, they can still provide a wide variety of benefits. Here we will discuss just some of the fantastic activities which are suitable for someone living with late stage dementia.
Activities which aid in evoking memories are ideal for someone living with dementia. As dementia develops it can sometimes hinder recollection of shorter term memories, but often long term memories which have emotion attached to them can be triggered by certain stimuli. By conducting reminiscence based activities with someone living with later stage dementia, it can help to spark these memories which in turn can help to improve mood and encourage engagement.
Try listening to a piece of familiar music, or watching an old film together and see the recognition in your loved ones face as it brings back fond memories from the past.
Sensory exploring activities are highly beneficial for someone living with dementia, and especially if that person has limited verbal capacity. Try engaging your loved one in Active Minds care home activities which utilise a combination of meaningful scents, sounds and visual stimuli.
A brilliant way to explore the senses is to create a sensory box filled with items such as a loved ones perfume or family photographs which you can revisit time and again. The smell of a familiar scent can help to evoke memories and be comforting for someone living with late stage dementia.
Spending time in the outdoors is really important for our health, giving us our required vitamin D, whilst building connections with nature, and when in the later stages of dementia, spending time in the outdoors should not be overlooked. Whether this is as simple as sitting in the garden, or perhaps visiting a familiar place which may help to spark memories, the feeling of fresh air and seeing nature unfold will be highly enjoyable and comforting.
If you’re visiting a place which is meaningful to your loved one, ensure this is during a time which is during a quiet time and avoid busy or loud periods, as this can lead to confusion or agitation.
An enjoyable pastime for many, reading can have a multitude of benefits for someone living with dementia, helping to spark memories, aid in relaxation, provide comfort and encourage conversations.
Even if your loved one can no longer read unaided, it can still be enjoyable to be read to. Try pick out a familiar book which will be comforting and read this to them in a clear and calm voice. The familiarity may help in sparking memories and conversations, whilst soothing your loved one.
Sometimes the little things matter the most, and touch is especially important for someone living with late stage dementia, especially if they can’t communicate as they used to. Small acts such as a hand massage, brushing hair or simply holding hands can help your loved one feel connected.
There are many different ways to stay connected to your loved one if they are living with dementia, which can be highly beneficial for their overall wellbeing. Explore a variety of activities to see which ones your loved one enjoys the most. It is important to remember that even if verbal communication or physical movements are proving more difficult, that the brain is still engaged in activities to both simulate and engage.