We all know we feel better when we’ve had a good laugh, joined in an interesting conversation, shared ideas, opinions or stories; whether it’s listening to a funny joke or silly mishap, recalling a television programme or hearing about a special event, celebration or interesting journey.
For people living with dementia, recalling stories, events and experiences can become difficult. Not remembering or feeling confused may eventually lead to a person’s hesitance to join in everyday conversations and social occasions. A carer or family member can sometimes feel affected too; wondering how to engage the person living with dementia or worried about how to help the person maintain daily skills and remain interested in everyday life.
Alison Turner, head of dementia services at Age Concern Central Lancashire commented, "As part of our 12 week therapeutic activity programmes our service users would regularly have access to reminiscence packs and take part in activities to encourage daily living skills. These activities not only help keep focus but they also promote positive memories- I can't recommend one to one activities enough for people living with dementia and these products can help you replicate the support we give at the day centres at home with your loved ones during this period of isolation."
Prompting the long term memory through visual images, tactile and nostalgic items is one way to help bring events to mind. Reminiscing can often bring about stories to share and enjoy. Both Age Concern and Happy Days Activities & Design is passionate about dementia social care and has created a range of communication tools; conversation and daily living prompts, engagement and reminiscence materials to help carers, home care teams, friends, volunteers and families share meaningful moments with the people they care for and love.
Gillian added, "At Happy Days, we consider ‘just talking’ is an activity - and most people love to talk. From nostalgic postcard collections and chat prompts to Snakes & Ladders Chat Time [a traditional game with conversation prompts], we’re sure you’ll get tongues wagging. It’s not always about winning - Sometimes the act of playing a game, building a jigsaw or simply stacking and sorting can encourage interaction, prompt a meaningful conversation or story to share."
"We’ve had lots of wonderful messages telling us how our engagement materials have helped create interest, encourage activity and uplift mood for both the person living with dementia and the carer, friend or family member. Materials can be sent directly to family members, friends or care homes."
During these difficult days of social distancing, why not send a gift to a care home for residents to enjoy or a family member with a note to say your thinking of them?
Happy Days Dementia Activities & Design is proud to be working alongside Age Concern Central Lancashire to bring engagement materials to you.
To purchase items, visit Age Concern’s online shop here: https://www.ageisjustanumber.org.uk/shop/dementia-products
Dementia services support and free downloadable resources can be found here: https://www.ageisjustanumber.org.uk/services/dementia-services/
Call our Coronavirus Support service on 01772 552850 option 0 to speak to a person about support available now.