This post comes to us from familyaffaires.com. I came across it on a LinkedIn post by a gentleman I met in a fantastic online course about dementia, Mike Good. Mike Good is founder of Together in This, an online community helping family members caring for someone with Alzheimer’s. Through short, informative articles and easy-to-use tools, such as the Introductory Guide to Alzheimer’s, he helps them take control and have peace-of-mind they are doing the right things.
You can access the original article on familyaffaires.com by clicking on the title, below.
We often hear about therapeutic activities that are beneficial for the person with Alzheimer’s or another dementia but it’s just as important to consider their care partner – the caregiver.
Living successfully with the disease requires that both care partners enjoy therapeutic enrichment that benefits their mind, body, and spirit.
But because the caregiver is often the only person caring for their loved one, it is difficult for them to find time to enjoy activities that are beneficial for them as well.
There are activities that can be done together that simultaneously meet the needs of the caregiver while providing beneficial sensory stimulation for the person with Alzheimer’s or other dementia:
Read the rest of this article at familyaffaires.com
Gardening and Growing Together
This is a re-post from agingcare.com, and I hope it inspires you to get your hands a little dirtier 🙂
To grow a more meaningful and healthy connection with an elderly loved one, put on some rubber clogs and head out together to the garden.
At any age, gardening is one of the best activities we can do outdoors, several experts told AgingCare.com. It stimulates all of the senses; awakens our connection with nature and with each other; and rewards us with fresh flowers and juicy tomatoes. “It’s restorative, even if you have dementia,” says Dee McGuire, a horticultural therapist at Levindale Hebrew Geriatric Center and Hospital in Baltimore.
Gardening is also an excellent way for aging bodies to get a moderate-intensity aerobic workout, shed calories and stay flexible, according to a Kansas State University study. That’s one reason why gardening remains popular with Americans well into their golden years. Indeed, about three-quarters of households age 55 or older participated in some form of lawn and garden activity in 2010, according to the National Gardening Association (NGA).
Still, there’s no question that bending, lifting, kneeling, squatting, weeding and pruning—not to mention dealing with sun, heat and bugs– all become more challenging as we grow older.
But there are ways to cope.
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This is taken from the introduction of the Dementia Adventure’s guide to leading group adventures and visits to woodland areas for people with dementia. You can download the booklet or read it here.
The result of a partnership between the VisitWoods team at the Woodland Trust, Dementia Adventure CIC, and Tony Vale at Activity Team, this guide builds on the successful pilot project which Dementia Adventure led in 2011. This pilot was called “Wandering in the Woods”. The report, which outlines the physical, social and emotional beneﬁts of woodland visits for people living with dementia, along with the three supporting ﬁlms, is available at www.dementiaadventure.co.uk.
VisitWoods, Dementia Adventure and Activity Team shared a vision that it is possible for people living with dementia to safely and enjoyably beneﬁt from visiting woodland. The reality for many people living with dementia in care settings is that they often have little or no access to woodland. At the same time there are some extremely committed staff and family members who are successfully enabling small groups of residents to get out into nature. We all strongly felt that there are solutions and practical resources, which if collated and shared, would lead to more people living with dementia in care settings to beneﬁt from visiting woodland, as well as other natural spaces.
This enabling, informative and practical guide is aimed at older people and people living with dementia, who can often ﬁnd themselves excluded from participating in or enjoying activity out in woodland. This adaptable and engaging resource helps to:
• Provide inspiration and information to enjoy woodland activity
• Outline the beneﬁts of woodland activities
• Reduce the perceptions of barriers to accessing woodland
• Increase conﬁdence in accessing woodland by sharing solutions to common barriers
• Share resources to help group leaders to visit woods
• Provides inspiration and resources to help group leaders plan visits to other green space/natural settings
The guide is also available online and the authors welcome feedback, comments and other helpful resources which we can share to keep this work relevant and up to date.
I came across this blog post on the Whose Shoes? blog (a suggested read on personalization in health and social care, by the way). Neil Mapes is the director of Dementia Adventure, which is pretty close to one of my ideas for normalizing dementia in tourism and creating safe places for people with dementia to go with their families on vacations. It’s a good interview with him and about the importance of his company, Dementia Adventure. By the way, Neil, if you are looking for a new colleague, feel free to contact me…… 😉
Happy New Year everybody. #DementiaChallengers are on a roll for 2013, determined to speed up the pace of positive change for people living with dementia and their carers and improve quality of life. And what a refreshing start to the New Year we have here…!
This guest blog is from Neil Mapes, Director of the innovative and award-winning ‘Dementia Adventure’. I am delighted to be able to include this contribution to our ‘in my shoes’ series, looking at dementia from different perspectives. I am a big fan of Neil’s “can do” attitude – it takes a pretty special person to plan sailing holidays for people with dementia in our risk-averse, increasingly litigious ‘elf n’ safety’ society.
We have had over 70 guest posts so far. I have written a couple myself talking about the important role of nature and specifically the ‘Let nature feed your senses ‘ project. Neil’s team is making outdoor experiences a reality for more and more people. I personally feel you do not need mountains of research to know that getting outdoors is GOOD FOR US!
Dementia Adventure is a breath of fresh air for people living with dementia in all senses (literally) – touching, smelling, feeling, tasting and not least hearing the good things that nature has to offer. Most of us take these things for granted – I’d argue that being able to continue going outdoors in later life should be seen as a ‘human right’!
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