You can find useful tips and suggestions on aspects of dementia, such as washing, eating, walking about and music on:
Tips to get through the day
- Try to persuade and encourage the person with dementia and avoid confrontation with them if possible.
- Set up a regular time for calling them.
- Talk about early memories. Use music and old movies to help with reminiscence.
- For people who forget recent news, a notice by the front door can be a reminder about not going out and other changes due to coronavirus.
- Set up different areas in your home to do specific activities. For example, watch favourite films and musicals in the living room, listen to the radio in the kitchen, and do jigsaw puzzles at the table.
- Create an activity box with puzzles and crafts.
- For reminders about eating regularly, not going out, washing hands and so on, look at assistive technology.
Talk about early memories
Talk about early memories, advises Age Exchange:
- Use family photo albums, home videos or slides to start off a conversation.
- Use old family recipes or family cookbooks to produce ‘reminiscence’ foods, such as a Victoria sponge or a trifle. Take time to explore familiar packaging or individual ingredients, such as nutmeg, cinnamon, or OXO cubes.
- Dig out old CDs, records or tapes, or use the internet to listen, sing along to and discuss favourite music stars or bands. Have a dance in the living room if you have the energy.
- Use the natural world, even if it's just looking through the window to pay attention to the changing season. Think of prompts that conjure up spring - blossom, green shoots, nesting birds, chicks and lambs. Opening the window to listen to birdsong, smell spring flowers and feel the warmth of the sun can be very emotive and evoke memories.
- Find some old films, film clips and images of famous Hollywood actors and comedians.
- Household tasks such as folding the bedsheets or dusting can generate reminiscence. Other tasks like polishing silverware, shining shoes or sweeping can also stimulate conversation and memory.
- Smells, such as soaps, perfume, cologne and bathroom toiletries can help to promote memory. Activities that incorporate smell, such as making lavender bags or doing a hand massage with nicely scented hand cream, can be an enjoyable and reminiscent activity.
Make a contingency plan
Don't forget that many people living with dementia struggle with changes to daily routines.
It is important to take time to prepare for different situations, such as the person with dementia getting sick, or if a carer gets sick.