Written by Active Minds on Friday the 1st of December 2017.
Whilst one-to-one activities for people with dementia are beneficial, helping a person with dementia feel supported and giving loved ones quality time to bond, group activities can also play a valuable, therapeutic role. Therapeutic group activities can help the reduction of a variety of dementia-related behaviours, such as depression, agitation and frustration. They also encourage a person living with dementia to socialise, helping them feel connected to others, garner new friendships and create supportive relationships.
Pick a selection of songs that the group will know, thinking about the era that would resonate with them best. Print out the lyrics for each of the songs for anyone that may not know lyrics. Play the music and encourage everyone to singalong, and perhaps dance if they feel like it. The singalong will help people with dementia feel engaged and spark memories.
Meditation can be enjoyed by anybody, at any time, and will help people with dementia feel relaxed and reduce agitation. Not much is required except a comfortable, quiet area for people to sit. You can find a huge amount of guided meditations online, via Youtube or podcasts, which you can play to the group. You may also want to try your own meditation, concentrating on relaxing the mind and body.
Getting the group excited about a bit of friendly competition, whilst encouraging gentle exercise in the fresh air will help people living with dementia stay healthy and fit. Boules or Skittles are great games as they don’t require a huge amount of mobility and players can get involved whilst sitting down.
Suitable for smaller groups, 2 to 4 people is the perfect amount, jigsaw puzzles are a great activity to complete together, helping each other find the pieces, and discussing the images as they take shape. The group will feel a sense of achievement once the puzzle has been completed, helping them to feel independent.