Activities: a guide for carers of people with dementia

Overview

This booklet is for carers who look after someone who has moderate to severe dementia and need help with planning daily activities. Carers often ask how they can help the person with dementia structure their day by doing different activities.

Keeping someone with dementia busy and engaged will become more difficult as the dementia progresses. However by focusing on what he or she can do, even when the illness is quite advanced, you can both enjoy a range of stimulating activities and outings together. How much time you can devote to activities will depend on your personal circumstances. If you work, have other commitments or have a young family to care for you will obviously have less time, but there are still activities you can do as part of the daily routine.

The types of activities that the person you care for will be able to do will depend on his or her degree of dementia and general health. Activities should be appropriate to the person and reflect his or her previous and present interests.

Tailor the activities to fit in with his or her preferences and abilities and make sure he or she will be able to physically cope with them. Activities should be positive and enjoyable.

Remember that you do not need to do all these activities with the person you care for by yourself. If you have family and friends nearby ask them to help. Use day care, companion services and short breaks when you need a rest. This is important for your health and will allow you to recharge your batteries, so that you can continue caring. Speak to your social worker or the local Alzheimer Scotland service for more information about possible breaks.

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