21 – 27 May is Dementia Action Week. This is a great opportunity to improve the everyday lives for people living with dementia. You can do many simple things around the home, and maybe even in your work, so we have created a short list to inspire you during Dementia Action Week.
Tip 1 – Eating
If you want to encourage someone to eat, remember that their food preferences may change over time. Finger foods can also be ideal for those who struggle with cutlery. Afternoon tea anyone?
Tip 2 – Drinking
It might be helpful to leave out cues to remind the person with dementia to drink. For example, you could try leaving a water jug in their line of sight. If the water jug is clear, you could add some coloured cordial to make it easier for them to see. In the kitchen, leave out the essentials like the kettle, tea bags and mugs. Keeping hydrated can reduce dehydration, which can lead to delirium.
Tip 3 – Light
As we age, we need much more light to see properly. If you have trees or plants covering windows, try to cut these back to let in as much light as possible. It is also worth remembering that energy saving lightbulbs gradually reduce in brightness over time, so try to change these every year for an older person.
Tip 4 – Exercise
For people with dementia exercise can form an important role. It can reduce stress, agitation and help burn excess energy. It can also be a great social activity and benefit both the carer and the person with dementia. Some communities have dementia walking groups that are open for people to join.
Tip 5 – Stay connected
Isolation and loneliness have been shown to have a strong negative impact on health, well-being, and rate of cognitive decline in people living with dementia. Staying involved in activities of interest and community networks can decrease this impact. There are also new ways that individuals with dementia can become involved with others and play a meaningful part in research, such as the Neighbourhoods Project.
If you need more inspiration, why don’t you check out our 10 Helpful Hints range: these publications have been written specifically to provide carers with suggestions that can support them in their role and improve the quality of live for the person living with dementia.