4. Get involved
There are many activities that you can get involved in, some of which you may have never tried before. The following may be useful in providing suitable activities that you can do indoors or outside.
Cooking and household activities
Preparing and cooking food is an activity many of us do every day. You can continue – or start – doing this as long as it is safe for you. However, if the activity becomes too difficult, there are some small changes you can make. You could ask someone to help you in the kitchen, follow a simpler recipe, or use prepared sauces rather than making your own.
Other everyday household tasks like washing the dishes, folding clothes or dusting objects are also good ways of keeping active at home. Ask someone to do the task with you if it makes what you’re doing more enjoyable.
Puzzles and games
Any kind of pastime that keeps your mind active is beneficial and can also be a great way of spending time with other people. You could try doing a crossword puzzle, playing a board game or even an electronic game. If you start finding these options difficult, consider other options. A number of companies and organisations make products specifically for people with dementia, eg larger piece jigsaws.
Touchscreen technology – including tablet computers or even mobile phones – has many advantages that can help you stay involved. They can be easier to use than desktop computers. You can also use touchscreen technology to interact with people around you. For example, on YouTube you can watch old videos or films from your past together, or listen to your favourite music.
Music and singing can be very powerful ways to relive memories, and music is also used as a form of therapy. Music therapy is enjoyable but offers much more than just entertainment. For more information on finding a qualified music therapist in your area see booklet 1503, Health and social care professionals.
Other technologies like Skype – for communicating face-to-face with someone in another place using the internet – make it easier to keep in touch with family and friends who live far away. You can also try online games. They can be a good source of entertainment as well as a form of mental stimulation. For more details see Alzheimer’s Society factsheet 437, Assistive technology – devices to help with everyday living.
If you like to read but dementia is making this difficult, you can try switching to audio versions of books, newspapers and magazines. These will allow you to enjoy your favourite publications in a different way.