Activities for people with Dementia

Stimulating activities provide Dementia sufferers with a sense of enjoyment and purpose. However, sometimes sufferers struggle to find enjoyment in things they used to like. This could be through decreased mobility, difficulty in tackling complex tasks, or simply a change in interests.

As their carer, friend or family, you can help a loved one continue to enjoy social time and fulfilling activities by helping them to find new interests to explore. Here we offer tips on where to start when looking for activities for people with Dementia.

Visit the Dementia Resource Centre

The Dementia Resource Centre in Peterborough is a fantastic local point of call. Run by the Alzheimer’s Society, there are a range of activities held on a weekly basis, which offer an opportunity for people with Dementia to socialise and have fun, whilst also providing some respite and companionship for carers. There’s something to suit every taste: typical group sessions include chair yoga, ‘knit & knatter’, current affairs and mens or ladies activity groups.

Sessions run at this centre are ideal for those acclimatising to life with Dementia or as a carer, as they are designed to be accessible for all. Some sessions run for a set period of weeks, so it’s worth making enquiries to find out what’s available for you to join.

Singing for the Brain

Singing for the Brain is also run by the Dementia Resource Centre, but deserves a special mention on its own because singing has been proven to have such a positive effect on people with Dementia and their carers. These sessions begin with gentle movement activities, followed by informal singing sessions that are enjoyable and stimulating for people with Dementia. They offer a relaxed environment in which to share an activity together and meet like-minded people.

Dementia Cafés

Dementia Cafés are a space to relax and unwind, gather support and information for living with Dementia and meet people in the same situation. There are many regular meetings dotted across Peterborough and the surrounding area, so you’re sure to find one close to you. You can find your nearest Dementia Café and other social groups through this search.

Hobbies and at Home Activities

Even if your loved one isn’t able to continue enjoying a past hobby, there are ways to help them connect with the things they love. A keen sewer may enjoy painting or other crafting, while culinary extraordinaires might still enjoy trying a new recipe with the help of a family member. These kinds of activities are easier for people with Dementia to participate in than passive pastimes like reading or watching television. Look at what’s on offer in your local area – there may be a Dementia-friendly group that’s linked to a past favourite hobby, such as the gardening group at the Dementia Resource Centre.

Many people with Dementia and their carers find it enjoyable to share memories together, such as by scrapbooking or visiting favourite destinations. In all these activities, take your cues from your loved one. If an activity they used to enjoy doesn’t bring them pleasure, don’t force it, but explore other ways to share an experience together.

Take Gentle Exercise

Exercise is key to positive physical and emotional health, and can be enjoyed at any level. Peterborough’s Dementia Resource Centre offers accessible, fun sessions, aptly named ‘Oomph!’, that help people with Dementia stay active and socialise.

Of course, the great outdoors is available at any time. Alongside walks in your local area, Peterborough and its surroundings have many sights of natural beauty to offer the community. Ferry Meadows Country Park is an area of outstanding beauty not far from your front door.

Have an Adventure

If you’d like to take a trip with your loved one, but are worried about places being equipped to care for someone with Dementia, help is at hand. Dementia Adventure is a charity that helps carers and their loved ones get out in nature. It’s a wonderful opportunity to connect with your family in new ways, and help your loved one enjoy a new, fulfilling experience.

Creating a structured timetable for your day helps ensure loved ones are given the opportunity to take part in motivating activities, and can make life easier for you as carer. Visit the Alzheimer’s Association website for example plans and tips on structuring a routine that works for you and your loved one.

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