Loss of routine and prolonged isolation can have a huge impact on those living with dementia, so keeping active and staying socially connected is vital to maintaining their wellbeing and also the wellbeing of their carers and families.
My name is Claire and I am a Dementia Friends Champion for Alzheimer’s Dementia Friends programme. I have been working with Davina Biswell from Melbourn in Cambs, to provide a structure for people with dementia who are self-isolating at home. Before Covid-19, I was delivering Dementia Friends sessions to the public as a Dementia Friends Champion, and active member of my local Dementia Friendly Community.
Regular and structured sources of fun
Taking inspiration from school timetables, we have created and distributed ideas for activities to give structure to the long days of those self- isolating within their local communities. Our aim is to help those living with dementia plus the families and carers of this very vulnerable group, to connect with a regular and structured source of fun and stimulating ideas which might support their physical, mental and emotional wellbeing for the duration of social distancing.
There are weekly activity packs including quizzes, brain teasers, mindful colouring, birdspotting and other physical activity ideas. We also have been running live Zoom sessions for a weekly Cuppa, daily faith service, cooking demo and yoga & ballet movement sessions.
We have been hand delivering the activity packs through the door of 60 or so people affected by dementia and loneliness on a weekly basis, plus other vulnerable people across East Herts being reached out to by making these weekly resources available
at a new Community CareBank blog space.
The importance of social interaction
Whilst access to food and medication are absolute necessities for people with dementia who are physically distancing from their loved ones during this uncertain and prolonged period of time, social interaction is particularly important for them to try and carry on living as well as they can with their often very challenging symptoms.
Dementia friendly volunteers are doing all they can to make sure that this very vulnerable group of people, who may have to stay at home for the foreseeable future, are encouraged to stay active, socially connected and live as well as they can with their dementia symptoms during this challenging period for all of us.
For information and support about dementia visit Alzheimer’s Society at alzheimers.org.uk.