COVID-19: Activities and actions toolkit to help young people learn about dementia

Our new Activities and actions toolkit is for teachers, parents, guardians and youth leaders to help young people learn about dementia and how they can take action to support people affected by dementia during the coronavirus pandemic.

What is the Activities and actions toolkit?

The toolkit is a collection of easy activities and books that help educate about dementia and some suggested actions young people can take. The activities and actions have been taken from Alzheimer’s Society's free tried and tested resources to help young people learn about dementia in a fun and engaging way. They are a great tool to educate children while they are not in school.

Whilst the resources have been designed for use by schools and youth groups, parents and guardians can also adapt activities to use at home.

Why is the toolkit so important?

We're all going to be spending a lot more time at home in the coming weeks and months due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis.

This is a lonely and scary time for many of us, but especially for people affected by dementia.

Young people can help people affected by dementia get through these challenging times and feel less isolated. Take this opportunity to create a dementia-friendly generation by using this easy toolkit and the other resources we have available.

How can I get involved?

Fill out our short online form and you can download our resources for free.

If there are questions in the form that don't apply to you (e.g. name of school or organisation), please feel free to write 'Not applicable' where necessary.

1
Download our resources
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Learn about dementia
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Take action and help others
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Here are some of the top activities and important actions chosen by us that you can do today

Memories with Grandma (60-90 minutes)

Memories with grandma front cover

Follow Mo, as he learns how to support his grandma who is living with dementia.

A fun animation and activity pack for 5-11 year olds that creates Dementia Friends.

Help young people learn about how dementia affects someone’s ability to do day-to-day tasks. This is a great activity for young people to do at home.

Get your free copy of Memories with Grandma

Understanding memory and an introduction to dementia (45 minutes)

KS1 resource front cover

Get young people thinking about how memory is used every day

  • How do we need our memory for our daily lives?
  • How is the brain used in our day-to-day lives for different tasks?
  • How is memory affected by dementia?

This activity can be found on page 8 of our Key stage 1 resource for 5 – 7 year olds.

Get your free copy of this KS1 resource

Dementia in the community (30 – 45 minutes)

Memory Box image

Get creative and make a memory box! An engaging way for young people to understand how dementia can affect people each day.

  • What types of difficulties can people with dementia experience?
  • How does dementia affect the whole family?
  • What ways can you support people living with dementia?

Watch a short story then start crafting your memory box.

This activity can be found on page 16 of our Key Stage 1 resource for 5 – 7 year olds.

Get your free copy of this KS1 resource

How dementia-friendly is your house?

Icon of a house

Apply the ideas from our Dementia Friendly Environment Checklist and have a race around your home or even garden and see how dementia friendly it is.

Help young people to understand what changes could be made to be more friendly.

Once you’ve finished why not encourage your child to draw a picture of a dementia-friendly room, or house, and think of other places such as school or the park - what challenges could there be for people with dementia in that environment?

Get your free copy of this resource

Supporting people in the community (1 hour)

KS3 resource front cover

Delve into creative writing. Understand how dementia affects family members and explore the role of carers.

  • How does dementia affect members of the family?
  • What role do carers play?
  • Why do we need empathy?
  • Why is communication important?
  • How can we think about helping people cope?

Watch the video and complete the main activity.

This can be found on page 26 of our Key Stage 3 resource for 11 – 14 year olds.

Get your free copy of this KS3 resource

Creating a dementia-friendly community (30 minutes)

KS4 resource front cover​

Young people can get creative and share their understanding of dementia by making a poster or leaflet.

  • What types of difficulties do people with dementia experience?
  • What support is available for someone with dementia?
  • Be able to communicate a sensitive topic to others

Help young people research dementia and create their own poster or leaflet. How about displaying the finished poster in a window or on social media to share learning with others?

This activity can be found on page 25 of our Key Stage 4 resource for 14 – 16 year olds.

Get your free copy of this KS4 resource

Dementia Bingo

Dementia Bingo​

This is a fun game an older household can play indoors whilst isolating, to learn about dementia.

This will require more than three people, and one person will need to be the reader.

You can find this on Page 3 of the Girlguiding activity pack for Rangers and printing is required.

Get your free copy of this resource

'Who’s right?'

Illustration of three people holding supporter placards​

 

A fun and immersive game that can be played with the household or family indoors whilst isolating, to learn what it means to have dementia.

This will require more than three people, and one person will need to be the reader. 

You can find this on Page 4 of the Girlguiding activity pack for Guides and printing is required.

Get your free copy of this resource

'True or False'

True or false game ​

Challenge your family to see who can spot common misconceptions about dementia using the True or False worksheet.

This can be found in page 15 of the Teacher toolkit for 11-14 year olds.

Get your free copy of this resource

Other activity inspiration

Use the ideas sheet from page 6 of our Teacher toolkit for 11-14 year olds to use with young people. Some examples include:

  • Designing posters to advertise a dementia friendly community
  • Creating a short story or poem about dementia
  • Creating Memory books and collages for and with people with dementia
  • Consider how people living with dementia have been treated throughout the years and design a modern dementia friendly community.

Get your free copy of our resources 

Grandma, by Jessica Shepherd

Ages 5+. Written from the child’s perspective about Grandma going into a home. Q and A from child’s perspective.

Front cover of Grandma by Jessica Shepherd​

ISBN 13: 9781846436024

Grandma's box of Memories: Helping Grandma to Remember, by Jean Demetris

Ages 5+. Well-illustrated book about creating a box of memories.

Front cover of Grandmas box of memories

ISBN: 9781849055178

When my Granny Forgets, I Remember: A Child’s Perspective on Dementia, by Tony Haberkom

Ages 5+. Outlines the journey for the person affected by dementia and their family.

Front cover of When my Granny forgets, I Remember: a child's perspective on dementia

ISBN: 9780991623600

Me and Mrs Moon, by Helen Bate

Ages 7+. Cartoon style. Written from children’s perspective, who realise that a dear friend is living with dementia. Outlines their journey in getting help.

Front cover of Me and Mrs Moon

ISBN 978-1-910959-94-7

Grandpa’s Great Escape, by David Walliams 

Ages 7+. In this humorous tale, a former spitfire pilot escapes from his care home, which is run by evil Matron Swine.

Front cover of Grandpa's great escape

ISBN: 9780007494019

Can I tell you about dementia?, by Jude Welton

Ages 7+. Written from a person with dementia’s perspective, includes some facts and challenges of dementia

Front cover of Can I tell you about dementia?

ISBN: 9781849052979

Back to Black Brick, by Sarah Moore Fitzgerald 

Ages 11+. Story about a boy living with his grandfather who has Alzheimer’s disease.

Front cover of Back to Black Brick

ISBN: 9781444006599

1. Keep in touch

Loneliness is already a serious issue for people with dementia. During these difficult times, it's important to keep in contact with someone you know, such as family members, friends or neighbours. See if your young person would like to offer their friendship over the phone or by writing a letter - with an adult's guidance.

If there are a few of you, you could create a rota  together for how many times a week you will call them.

What they could talk about:

  • What did they used to do?
  • What are their likes/dislikes?
  • What are their favourite hobbies?
  • What is their favourite food?
  • What funny stories do they know? Share your own!

What they could do after your conversation:

  • Make a card – draw them a picture of something they like and send it to them.

2. Offer to do grocery shopping for someone you know

This is a stressful time for people with dementia and their loved ones.

If you have a family member, friend or neighbour who has dementia, you and your young person can offer to get some groceries or essential items for them.

Please ensure that you are following the government’s social distancing guidelines

3. Make and drop off care packages to someone you know

If you have a family member, friend or neighbour who has dementia, you and your young person can put together packages together. Receiving a care package of essentials, such as toilet paper and tinned foods, could really brighten up the day of someone who is self-isolating.

You could use spare items you have at home or pick up a few extra things when you next go shopping. To bring an extra smile you could decorate a box to put the items in and even include a letter or picture.

Please ensure that you are following the government’s social distancing guidelines

4. Share the need to support people with dementia on social media

Please share these activities to your networks and any fantastic actions that you have been doing at home on social media and tag @alzheimerssoc and @dementiafriends.

Help spread the word far and wide so we can help as many people with and affected by dementia as possible.

For further enquiries, ideas or support, email [email protected]

5. Bake some cakes for Cupcake Day

Cupcake Day is all about 'baking a difference' for people affected by dementia - many of which are facing isolation during this difficult time.

Take a break, learn a new skill, dust off your grandparent’s favourite recipe and cook up some magic in the kitchen to help people affected by dementia.

Get the whole family involved and get creative with your cupboard essentials – you could even connect with relatives online.

Head to alzheimers.org.uk/cupcakeday to sign up for your free pack.

Share it on our social channels

Please remember to share these activities with others and any actions you take on
social media. Tag @alzheimerssoc and @dementiafriends to help spread the word and to
help support people with dementia during these challenging times.

Tell us on Twitter Tell us on Instagram

For further enquiries, ideas or support, email [email protected]

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