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19 January 2021

Arts on the agenda at Coate Water Care homes

Arts on the agenda at Coate Water Care homes.

In the latest of a series on meaningful activities for families with dementia during the pandemic, the charity Dementia UK has focused on the benefits of the arts and other creative pursuits.

The impact of the arts on people with dementia is becoming increasingly significant. It can be a powerful way for people with dementia to not only express themselves but also stimulate their mind which can improve thinking ability.

Creative activities like painting and listening to music can stimulate the brain. It can help people living with dementia to create a dialogue and provide them with an additional means to express themselves.

Painting

Painting has been found to be particularly valuable in helping people living with dementia to communicate in a non-verbal way, when verbal communication is more difficult, or lost. Similarly, painting and drawing can allow us to use the power of imagination which can make people living with dementia feel more connected to the world and people around them. Adult colouring books are especially popular for stress relief.

Music

Research suggests that listening to music or singing songs can provide emotional and behavioural benefits for people living with dementia. Musical memories are often preserved in dementia, when other types of memories are lost, because of the areas in the brain that are affected. Music has the power in all of us to relieve stress and reduce anxiety and depression, but also to be uplifting and joyous. In people living with dementia it can also have the effect of reducing agitation. You can work together to develop playlists, whether that be to help relaxation prior to bedtime, provide distraction when a person seems agitated, or to motivate them if they seem apathetic or listless. Music is a big part of birthday parties and special occasions at Coate Water Care homes like Christmas festivities, VE day or the Queen’s birthday.

Films

Watching films with a person with dementia can be another good way to stimulate a person with dementia and increase feelings of connectivity with family and carers. Whilst no experience of dementia is the same and families are best placed to know what kind of films would be most suitable for their relative with dementia, there are certain styles which can be broadly appealing. This can include films which do not have complex story lines, as well as films where there is a strong action, comedic or musical element. Coate Water Care holds regular classic movie nights at its homes.

Reading

Whether fiction or non-fiction, reading can be a great way to increase understanding as well as providing a useful activity with people with dementia to help stimulate and maintain connections.

For the last few years Dementia UK has been supporting the work of the Reading Agency who have initiated a number of useful projects about the importance and value of reading.

For a person with dementia who is struggling to read, you can try reading to them. This can be a nice activity for children to do with their parent or grandparent when visiting. If there are any challenges in concentration, try short stories, poems or picture books. These can evoke memories and help start conversations, which can bring great pleasure and help the person to reminisce.

 

Experienced Activities Coordinators at Coate Water Care’s nine residential homes organise special activities, not to mention events, outings and parties for residents, their families and friends. We take time to find out what residents enjoy and try to incorporate their hobbies into their daily routine.

www.dementiauk.org

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