Written by Active Minds on Friday the 20th of October 2017.
Creativity can have a hugely beneficial impact on people living with dementia. The completion of a piece of artwork gives a sense of pride and promotes continued independence. It can also help lift a person living with dementia’s mood and encourage them to engage and socialise, whether that’s one-on-one, with you or another carer, or in an activity group environment.
As your loved one’s dementia progresses, they may start to struggle to undertake the hobbies they once enjoyed, such as painting, a soothing and relaxing past-time. However, regardless of a person’s dementia diagnosis and dexterity, painting can still be enjoyed. Products like Aquapaint, are an accessible art activity that allows a person living with dementia to still achieve the relaxation and pride that painting elicits. Each pack contains 5 different images that appear once water is brushed over them. As the paper dries, the image fades, ready to be used time and time again.
Encourage your loved one to get colourful and help them create their very own everlasting flower bouquet. Together, using green crepe paper, twist the material to form stems, then cut out individual petals using a variety of brightly coloured crepe paper and stick them to the stems. You may find, after you have helped initially, that your loved one is able to continue to create the flowers unaided, and create their very own beautiful bunch, which they can keep in a vase on display.
Keeping on the flowery theme, help your loved one create their very own flower picture using different sizes and colours of buttons. Draw an outline of a picture of a flower onto either a piece of paper, or for a more professional look, a canvas. Using glue, encourage your loved one to stick as many coloured buttons onto the picture, to create a gorgeous piece of artwork that they can display in their home.
Jigsaw puzzles help stimulate the brain, and so are an incredibly beneficial creative activity for a person living with dementia. However, especially in the later stages of dementia, people can struggle with moving and handling the small pieces of a jigsaw, which can cause frustration and low mood. Dementia-friendly jigsaws have been carefully designed to ensure that people living with dementia can still enjoy puzzles.
Not only is cooking a delicious activity to get your loved one involved in, but by trying out recipes from their past, you can help spark memory and conversation. Try to make sure that the recipes are suitable for someone with dementia, such as cooking softer foods to help if they have any swallowing or chewing problems.