Our specialist dementia day opportunities offer support four days a week Monday, Wednesday, Thursday & Friday, providing activities and care in a stimulating environment. The support and care are built around each individual’s needs, improving quality of life and encouraging independence. They focus on specific outcomes such as helping reduce confusion, encouraging social interaction, restoring self esteem, reducing isolation, regaining basic life skills and having fun.
Our day centre provides a relaxed and safe setting with a structured activity programme. Group activities are organised to encourage social interaction, enjoyment and physical and mental stimulation. We also plan regular one-to-one sessions. There is usually a choice of activities in both the morning and the afternoon.
Reminiscence and Life History
To reminisce literally means to remember things from the past. Recalling the past is a part of every day life and is a normal activity for people of all ages. People who have dementia often experience loss of identity and can find the present a frightening and confusing place. Reminiscence can help by reassuring them that the past is real and helping them make sense of the present. It restores self esteem, reduces isolation and can be fun.
Reminiscence uses all the senses to stimulate the memory so that discussion can take place. We do this through regular group sessions using photographs, slides, DVDs and items from the past. Carers and relatives may be asked to give details of a person's history to help in our reminiscence work.
Life history is part of the reminiscence process, or it can be a separate piece of work. A person’s life history book is an important document which records individual memories in an accessible way. It can be used to help with reminiscence, reinforcing the person’s self-esteem and can be taken along if someone moves into a different care setting, informing new staff about their personal history.
Games Exercise and Movement
Active games encourage people to develop, relearn and use social skills. In an atmosphere of friendly competition, skills such as coordination, dexterity, numeracy and reminiscence are brought out within a fun, sharing experience. Physical wellbeing is improved through exercise and movement and the relaxed, sharing experience of games provides a much needed diversion from the anxiety sometimes experienced by people with memory problems. The games also help people to come to terms with a sense of loss through achievement within the group. Groups also increase a feeling of self worth as both an individual and a team member.
Arts & Crafts
Arts and crafts groups help to promote creativity through working with, exploring and discovering a wide variety of mediums and materials. Arts and crafts also improve both physical and mental dexterity, visual awareness and decision making. Whether working within a group project or individually, arts and crafts can bring enjoyment and a sense of fulfilment to see an idea being created on paper or as a model. Projects can offer either short or long term results which can aid the memory. These groups also offer the opportunity for group members to share knowledge and skills with other members of the group.
Working with iPad technology for people with dementia is still relatively new but our day centre works with clients to help them learn new skills using iPads which gives them access to the internet. This means they can keep in touch with distant friends and relatives and engage in hobbies and interests that may otherwise be harder to pursue.
Discussion groups can be both relaxing and stimulating. They provide a setting for free expression, building relationships and developing social and listening skills.
Access to the outdoors is important for everyone but is something that is sometimes lost for older people with dementia. Evidence exists that people with dementia get social, psychological and health benefits from spending time outdoors. The sensory garden is an ideal place to engage in exercise, multi-sensory activity, spending time with animals and helping things grow. Nature is an excellent medium to explore past memories.
Music is one of the most powerful triggers to emotional responses and memories, and we use it in a variety of ways such as through active music making, and listening to or participating in live music. It can be used to prompt discussion and reminiscence, for relaxation or as an aid at mealtimes.
Sensory groups are based around the five senses, touch, taste, smell, sound and sight. Our senses are important as we all use them to make judgements and decisions, learn and communicate throughout life. Each of our senses can unlock hidden memories and provide opportunities to compare the past with the present. This group is beneficial for people with communication difficulties as it can be adapted for non verbal communications.