Activities for Those Living with Dementia in a Time of Social Isolation

The increasing measures for social isolation have seen care homes close doors to visitors and for those living at home with loved ones with dementia, without the option to venture out, there is a demand for indoor activities to aid in maintaining wellbeing.

Active Minds, creators of products and activities for people with dementia, have recently launched an initiative which gives care home activity coordinators, and people at home, access to over 200 dementia care activities. Their innovative app, Support for Care was launched earlier in the year and has since been used in care homes across the country.

Activities ranging from arts and crafts to having a sing along to musiccan all be conducted indoors between carers and the person with dementia, helping to bring joy during this time, maintain social connections and provide support.

There are a range of indoor activities which are suitable for those living with dementia, and Active Minds have put together a series of ‘at home activities’ which can be conducted within the home and is featured across their social weekly.

“The wellbeing of people with dementia is of upmost importance to us, and the effects of social isolation on this group can be particularly threatening. We believe that wellbeing can be boosted from the joy of connection and engagement, so we have built a library of activities perfect for breaking that isolation that we want to share with as many people as possible.” Ben Atkinson-Willes, Founder, Active Minds.

Below are some fantastic examples of some at home activities suitable for those living with dementia.

Still Life Painting

Painting and expressing creativity can be relaxing and enjoyable activities which can have a powerful effect on emotional and mental wellbeing for someone living with dementia.

Encourage the person with dementia to arrange some fruit within a basket and provide them with paper, pencils or paints to paint the fruit bowl. Art is always open to interpretation, so this is a fantastic activity to provide encouragement, gain a sense of achievement and have fun.

Movers & Scarf Shakers

A gentle, yet fun movement activity to help keep people active, this can be done as a seated or standing exercise.

Make sure everyone taking part has a scarf then start the music, choose something slow yet uplifting, or perhaps a familiar song which can help evoke memories.

Warm up with slow movements and deep breaths, lifting and lowering the scarf, alternating arms or throwing the scarf in the air and catching it as it floats down. Then move on to the main exercise; you can do movements such as circular motions or waving the scarf from side to side. Make sure to do a cool down after with slower movements and ensure health constraints are considered.

Pressing Flowers

A highly relaxing, sensory activity, pressing flowers can be fantastic for maintaining the joy a bunch of flowers brings.

Take a selection of fresh flowers or those nearing the end of their bloom and lay them out on the table. Invite the person with dementia to choose the flowers they’d like to press and give them time to enjoy the scents and textures.

Place the flowers between blotting paper within a book or in a flower press, making sure they don’t touch or overlap. Weigh them down and leave for at least a week. Once dried, you can ask the person if they want to make a greetings card or collage, or simply frame the flower to brighten a room.