Written by Active Minds on Friday the 9th of June 2017.
Take advantage of the warm weather and beautiful outdoors this summer with these 5 summer dementia activities:
Spending time doing gentle gardening is incredibly beneficial for anyone living with dementia. Not only does it lower stress but it can also improve attention span, decrease agitation and improve strength and balance. Reminiscing with a loved one living with dementia whilst gardening is also beneficial. Take time to smell and appreciate the surroundings, talk about the flowers and times in their lives where they have enjoyed the great outdoors. This will help encourage conversation and stimulate the brain.
Take advantage of the sunshine and fresh air during the summer months by creating a puzzle area. Find a calm, quiet, shaded outside space and set up a table and chairs. A person living with dementia can then spend a relaxing hour or two completing puzzles whilst taking in the fresh air and tranquil environment.
Gentle Outside Exercise
Encouraging gentle exercise in the fresh outdoors not only improves brain function but helps maintain healthy blood pressure and cholesterol levels, stronger bones and greater strength which can prevent falls. Exercise can be as simple as a gentle walk, Tai Chi, or perhaps a series of gentle seated activities.
People living with dementia may begin to lose interest in food and the conversations that a good meal can bring. So, choosing an activity that focuses on stimulating senses, such as taste and smell, might encourage them to enjoy food and the social interaction that shared mealtimes can bring. Preparing and enjoying a picnic in a private garden or local park can not only spark interest in food again, but will also take advantage of the beautiful summer sun.
Encourage a person living with dementia to get involved with the preparation of the picnic, peeling vegetables and fruit, making sandwiches and decorating cakes or buns. Choose recipes that may spark memories from their past, and encourage conversation around these reminiscences.
The summer months bring with them beautiful blooms and stunning scenery, so take advantage of nature’s wonder by setting up an easel, canvas and paints and encourage a person living with dementia to paint a summer scene. Painting helps to relax a person living with dementia, as well as encouraging conversation, improving mood and self-esteem.
If a person living with dementia struggles with their dexterity they may find using paints too difficult, however taking part in art can still be encouraged with Aquapaint. Each Aquapaint set comes with five different images that have been carefully chosen to help spark conversation when the painting is complete. Simply paint water onto the sheets and watch the image appear, and as the water dries the image will fade ready to be used time and again.