By Ben Atkinson-Willes, Founder Active Minds
The winter season is a brilliant time for taking part in indoor activities and games; for someone living with dementia, incorporating seasons into activities it can help to spark memories and improve overall wellbeing. Here we will discuss just some amazing activities for someone living with dementia during the winter season.
Festive films are brought out once a year and watching one together with someone living with dementia can help spark memories of Christmases in the past. Choose a comfortable place and settle down to watch the film together; asking gentle questions around the film can help encourage conversations and aid in reminiscence.
Watching films also doesn’t have to be a single person activity, and rather can be brilliant for care home groups to encourage socialisation and help boost interactivity and conversations.
Listening to music is a highly relaxing and enjoyable activity for many and having a sing along can be even more fun. For someone living with dementia, listening to a familiar piece of music can be highly emotive and a brilliant reminiscence activity. Why not listen to some favourite Christmas carols and sing or hum along to the familiar tune.
For many people, jigsaws and puzzles are a great way to unwind and relax. Choose a jigsaw with a winter theme and see the joy on the persons face as each piece is placed and the picture unveils itself.
The sense of accomplishment once a puzzle is completed is brilliant for boosting mood and retaining independence. Care home activities from Active Minds, include a range of puzzles for each stage of the dementia journey and a wide variety of age appropriate images.
Arts and Crafts
Arts and crafts are a hobby enjoyed by many, and during the winter season can be great for bringing the outdoors in. Activities such as drawing and painting a winters scene, or perhaps creating a collage from leaves can all be highly enjoyable and relaxing.
Looking through old photographs is a great activity for someone living with dementia at any time of the year, as they are great for sparking memories and encouraging conversations. Simply sitting down together and going through old photographs, whilst asking gentle questions around each photo can be a highly relaxing and enjoyable activity and great for encouraging conversations.
You can also use photographs of the season itself, images such as a snowy landscape, a robin or any other winter themed photos can be great for looking over together.
Sensory boxes are made up of a variety of sensory provoking items and are brilliant for re-using time and again. Fill the box with different items related to the season, each of which provide a different sensory experience. Perhaps some pinecones for holding, photographs for looking at, a scent of pine trees or perhaps gingerbread. Our senses are closely linked to our memories, so when engaging them it can help spark memories of the past, which is brilliant for someone living with dementia.