Often, people who are diagnosed with dementia tend to see it as the end for their usual activities – worrying that they’ll have to give up on hobbies and interests as dementia takes hold.
However, that’s simply not the case. Not only is it advisable to maintain your normal routine for as long as possible, there are plenty of activities out there that dementia sufferers can look to take up – whether it be returning to previously enjoyed activities, or engaging with entirely new ones.
Being diagnosed with dementia in no way signifies the end, and should, in fact, herald a renewed focus to remain active.
Staying socially active is a great way to stave off the onset of dementia’s effects, while staying physically active is even more important.
It’s a good idea to combine the two elements – physicality and socialising – so engaging with groups to perform activities such as dance, yoga, swimming and walking helps to tick both boxes. These are all great examples, as while they offer the opportunity to exercise, keeping you fitter and healthier for longer, they’re not overly strenuous and provide a great opportunity to interact with fellow enthusiasts.
There are also many individual activities that can be enjoyed, particularly for those of an artistic nature. Pastimes that aid the brain, such as drawing, painting and reading, are excellent pursuits to engage with, and even a spot of acting if amateur theatre appeals.
Another potential pastime for the more extrovert, and even introverts if part of a choir, is singing – something that’s been proven to improve people’s moods and wellbeing, while also being a fun thing to do.
Although the more traditional activities are great, it’s also a good idea to embrace what technology offers. Nowadays, smartphones and tablets provide access to innumerable games and puzzles that people can engage with. There are even dementia specific apps that help to keep the brain focused and the mind sharp for as long as possible.
As dementia progresses, there is still opportunity to remain active – it’s just that activities may need to be simplified and focus more on a sensory offering. Sight, hearing, touch, taste and smell should all be engaged with, and activities such as playing music, interacting with objects and hand massage are all great sources of help at the later stages of dementia.
At Goatacre, we offer our residents a comprehensive calendar of events that they can join in with, helping our members to socialise, while maintaining mobility and brain function, as we look to keep our residents as engaged as possible by doing the things they enjoy.