World Parkinson’s Day (Facebook Post) ()

Dementia Action Week 2024

Dementia Action Week focuses on the positive impact we can have on the lives of those living with dementia. With the right care, treatment and support, people can live fulfilling and happy lives beyond their diagnosis.

Benefits of Arts and Crafts for Dementia

For those living with dementia, enjoying arts and crafts can bring a multitude of benefits and enhancing their quality of life and overall wellbeing. Dementia is a progressive condition affecting memory, cognition and behaviour, making it a daunting diagnosis for both those living with the condition and their loved ones. One ray of hope is the benefit of creative expression, which can offer an enjoyable outlet that encourages engagement with others.

World Parkinsons Day Facebook Post
World Parkinsons Day Facebook Post

Stimulating the Mind and Memories

Engaging in arts and crafts stimulates the brain and can aid in the maintenance of cognitive function by encouraging the use of motor skills, problem solving and spatial awareness. This mental exercise can help those with dementia to create new neural pathways, potentially slowing their cognitive decline.

Participating in arts and crafts can also act as a tool for stimulating memory recall by exposing people to familiar textures, colours and smells and triggering positive memories from the past. Reminiscing about past experiences can bring a sense of joy and comfort to those with the condition.

Enhancing Communication & Reducing Anxieties

A common symptom of dementia is a diminished ability to communicate verbally, often leading to frustration. Art can be an outlet for these frustrations by offering an alternative avenue for expression for people, allowing them to communicate thoughts and emotions they cannot articulate verbally. Engaging in arts and crafts can be a wonderful social activity, whether it is a group session or an intimate time with family, it is a great way to build bonds with others.

The repetitive nature of many arts and crafts can be very calming to those with dementia, it allows people to focus on the present moment, providing an escape from daily worries and anxieties. This calming effect can be useful for managing agitation and sleep problems associated with dementia.

Arts and Crafts for Dementia

Crafting is such a versatile activity and can be adapted to cater to the needs of the participants. Here are some tips for ensuring that the activities are enjoyable for everyone who’s taking part:

  • Enjoyment – the activity should be fun and stress-free, focussing on enjoyment rather than perfection
  • Simplicity – crafts should use familiar techniques and materials
  • Choice – offer participants options of colour and style
  • Be clear – break the tasks into small, manageable steps

Memory Café

In 2021 Caremark NI the first Health and Social Care provider in the UK to launch our Memory Café. Participants have the opportunity to do a wide range of activities from arts and crafts to musical sing-a-longs.  We have held tea parties and themed days.  We have also enjoyed fun filled day trips out to local places like Eden Pottery and took part in community art projects with local schools.

The Memory Café is a free service, and is for anyone who has a medical diagnosis of Alzheimer’s, Dementia, or other diagnosed cognitive impairments such as Parkinson’s, MS, Stroke or brain injury.  We would ask that when attending if clients/service users/customers could please be accompanied by a family member or carer.

If the Memory Café is something you or a loved one would like to attend, please contact our Wellbeing Manager, Christopher at our Head Office on 02891467004 or alternatively email christopher.downes@caremark.co.uk

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