Category: Activities

Activity – Myth or Meaningful Engagement

When looking at activities it is important to look at each person individually.

Dementia has over 100 types, which means that everyone has different experiences, regardless of disability. There may not be two people the same with the same needs when it comes to activity, the only similarity may be their diagnosis.

Activities do not have to be exclusively exercise, they could include music, arts & crafts, going to the cinema, dancing, or pursuing an interest from a persons pre-diagnosis life.

Recently, at a Dementia Cafe there was music and dancing, which is an inclusive activity for those that wish to take part. Some chose to Dance, others just listened to the music, however, the music was too loud for my hearing, I may have Hyperacusis, so I had to leave. My trips every 2 years to Pulmonary Rehab help me to manage my COPD and reduce exacerbation’s, which is a meaningful activity.

York St John University has free, inclusive activities for people with Dementia and others conditions, tailored to the individual run as part of their sports science courses.

The Alzheimer’s Society has a few suggestions

as does The Better Health Channel

In Norfolk, Ryan Hughes has seen the impact of activity

and Teepa Snow has her own take

The BBC programme The Toddlers who took on Dementia will show that small things can make a difference and that a person with Dementia can be involved in day-to-day activities and showed that inclusion doesn’t mean big budgets.

Apart from activities in a care home, an activity could also be an inclusive form of respite for someone living at home. Apart from Day Centre’s, there are Dementia Cafe’s and there may be other activities that with the right support would enable a person with Dementia to access different forms of activity outside their home and engage with other people.

If there is a partner and/or family at home, caring for the person with Dementia, it also provides an opportunity for some respite for them, even for a few hours.

In my opinion, it is important that my wife has time away from my Dementia. As time goes on that will become more of a challenge but hopefully by then, the funding and availability of  services will improve in line with our rights.

I’ll leave you to make your own mind up reader but to my mind, any meaningful activity is better than none and can improve our physical and mental health, along with tailoring it to the individuals need, interests and choices provides an opportunity for engagement.