Written by Active Minds on Monday the 23rd of September 2019.
When living with dementia it is important to engage in a wide variety of different activities to help improve overall wellbeing. Exploring creativity is essential throughout these activities as a way to relax, boost mood and provide a sense of achievement. Creations can even be displayed to remind your loved one of what they can achieve.
As the weather starts to change and become cooler it is the perfect time to take to the indoors and get involved in some fun creative activities. Here we have outlined five dementia friendly autumnal inspired arts and crafts activities, perfect for those living with dementia and their carers.
If your loved one finds drawing difficult, colouring books can be a fantastic alternative, and very therapeutic. Dementia friendly colouring books are available in different difficulty levels, suited to different stages of the dementia journey. Why not choose an autumnal inspired image and watch as your loved one enjoys seeing the image come to life with colour. You can even use a photograph, or the outdoors as colourful inspiration.
Engaging your loved one in a colouring activity can help to relieve stress and reduce anxiety and the end result can help to boost mood and provide a great sense of achievement.
Autumn Sensory Box
Autumn is such a beautiful time of year; it would be a shame not to capture it. Sensory exploration is essential for those living with dementia as it can help to trigger thoughts and memories. Sensory boxes are a great way to enjoy the season and have something to keep which you and your loved one can look back on time and again.
You can include a number of things in your autumn sensory box including; fallen leaves of different colours, pinecones, conkers, acorns; there are so many things which are associated with the season and they all provide great sensory experiences. This is a great way to bring the outdoors in, if your loved one is less mobile.
Autumn Themed Jigsaw Puzzle
Jigsaws have long been a relaxing activity and a great hobby for many, and this is still true for someone living with dementia. Jigsaw puzzles are available in different difficulty levels to suit a variety of abilities and can be a great way to engage the brain, whilst improving dexterity. Why not choose a dementia friendly jigsaw with an autumnal image, and see the recognition and enjoyment as the picture starts to appear.
Another craft activity which could be fun to enjoy with your loved one is to make autumnal decorations to put around their home. You could collect some leaves together to make a wreath or some natural bunting, the experience of making the decorations will be beneficial and enjoyable in itself and then once they are hung it up, will signify the changing seasons. This can provide a great sense of accomplishment for your loved one to see what they have created on display.
Ahead of the colder months knitting could be a really great activity for getting into the winter spirit. Activities such as this are better suited for those who already know how to knit to avoid your loved one becoming frustrated. For those who can, the repetitive nature of knitting can be very soothing and stress reducing, and the finished piece will provide a great sense of accomplishment.
So there you have it, five fantastic autumnal activities which are perfect for those living with dementia. Creative activities are perfect for providing relaxation and enjoyment, so why not try a variety with your loved one and see which they enjoy the most.